News by Topic
- Search Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Loyalty Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Marketing
- Viral Marketing
- Trends & Ideas
- Internet Marketing 101
European Commission forces Google, Apple to make users aware of 'true cost' of an app
Google has agreed that no app downloads that push in-app purchases will be labeled as 'free' in Europe as of the end of September this year, following criticisms by the European Commission.
The move by Google follows a spate of complaints from smartphone users about in-app purchases being pushed in so-called 'free' apps, particularly those apps that are targeted at younger users. Many popular apps are free to download, but they are designed in such a way as to tempt users to pay for in-game enhancements such as currency or faster progress through a game.
Just recently, in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about the 'free' mobile game 'Dungeon Keeper'. While the classic game is, technically, free to play, the Advertising Standards Authority took issue with charges made for in-app purchases which significantly enhanced and impacted gameplay. This, says the regulator, made any claim that the game was free-to-play unreasonable.
Now, the European Commission is forcing Google and Apple to make users aware of the 'true cost' of an app.
"The Commission is very supportive of innovation in the app sector," said European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes. "In-app purchases are a legitimate business model, but it's essential for app-makers to understand and respect EU law while they develop these new business models."
Google has decided on a number of changes including:-
- not using the word "free" at all when games contain in-app purchases;
- developing targeted guidelines for its app developers to prevent direct exhortation to children as defined under European Union law;
- time-framed measures to help monitor apparent breaches of European Union consumer laws;
- adapting default settings, so that payments are authorized prior to every in-app purchase, unless the consumer actively chooses to modify these settings.
"Although, regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorization, Apple has proposed to address those concerns," announced the European Commission in a press release.
"However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes. CPC authorities will continue to engage with Apple to ensure that it provides specific details of changes required and put its practices into line with the common position."
Image via Shutterstock
- Survey suggests increasing interest in e-gifts
- Referral key way in which marketers find SEO services
- Social Roundup: Rolling out for Instagram
- Brands: How to engage Millennials in your work force
- Top 3 tips to monetize traffic
- U.S. presidential elections: Digital media use up, television still dominant
- Reports: Brands are winning back to school
- Time spent gaming on mobile drops, eSports partly to blame
Featured White Papers
- 7 Trends Impacting How We Use Digital Assets
Download this new Adobe white paper to discover the seven trends impacting how digital marketers create, manage, deliver, and optimize...
- The Retail Marketer's 2015 Holiday Playbook
Download this ebook to learn how to increase Average Order Value, drive last minute purchases, increase sales, extend in-store shopping...
- 3 Tactics to Increase Influence on Your Consumer's Complex Path to Purchase
Consumers are No Longer Predictable, and their Path to Purchase is No Longer Linear......
- What Your Website and a Great Book Should Have in Common
With real-time personalization, your website can share many of the same characteristics of a best-selling novel - including the ability...