Google has made a number of changes to comply with the position of the EU’s consumer protection co-operation (CPC) authorities with respect to in-app purchases for games available at Google Play Store, but Apple has yet to make any concrete changes for apps at the App Store, according to a statement from the European Commission.
Google expects to complete its changes by the end of September 2014. It will no longer allow app providers to use the word “free” when games contain in-app purchases. The company will provide app developers with targeted guidelines to prevent direct exhortation to children and time-framed measures to help monitor apparent breaches of EU consumer laws. Google has also adapted its default settings, so that payments require authorisation before every in-app purchase, unless the consumer modifies these settings.
The EC writes that Apple has proposed to address concerns, but no firm commitment or timing have been provided for possible future changes. CPC authorities will continue to engage with the company to ensure that it provides specific details of changes and puts its practices in line with the common position.