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Berger & Montague, P.C. And Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd LLC Announce The Filing Of A Class Action Lawsuit Against Google Alleging That The Google Play App Store Permits And Entices Minors To Make Unauthorized In-App Purchases Of Game Currency


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[STK]

[IN] ITE MEN MLM CPR

[SU] LAW CHI

TO LEGAL AFFAIRS, NATIONAL, AND TECHNOLOGY EDITORS:

Berger & Montague, P.C. And Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd LLC Announce The

Filing Of A Class Action Lawsuit Against Google Alleging That The

Google Play App Store Permits And Entices Minors To Make Unauthorized

In-App Purchases Of Game Currency

PHILADELPHIA, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A class action

lawsuit has been filed on behalf of parents whose minor children

downloaded a free or modestly priced game app on the Google Play App

Store, and then racked up unauthorized charges for in-app game

currency without the parents' knowledge or authorization. The lawsuit,

captioned Imber-Gluck v. Google Inc., No. 5:14-cv-01070 (N.D. Cal.),

was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern

District of California, and is brought on behalf of all persons in the

United States who paid for an unauthorized purchase of game currency

made by their minor children through the Google Play App Store.

Specifically, the case alleges that the Google Play App Store permits

users to browse and download games either free or at a minimal cost.

Among the thousands of Apps offered in the Google Play App Store are

many games targeted at children. Although there are numerous games

that are offered for free or at a nominal cost, many are designed to

induce purchases of what Google refers to as "In-App Purchases" or

"In-App Content" that provide in-game currency to facilitate playing

the game as it was designed to be played. These games are engineered

to be highly addictive and require the purchase of in-game currency at

times to continue playing. The games frequently permit the purchase

of in-game currency in large amounts - as much as $100 per purchase or

more.

Although Google requires users to authenticate their accounts by

entering a password prior to purchasing and/or downloading a game or

buying in-game currency, once the password is entered, Google permits

the user of a device to make additional purchases for up to thirty

minutes without re-entering the password. This practice is designed

to enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental

permission and without having to enter a password. The purchases are

then billed directly to the parent or guardian.

This lawsuit follows Apple's $32.5 million settlement in January 2014

with the Federal Trade Commission over similar allegations, as well as

a private class action lawsuit that Apple settled in 2013 with its

customers, in which Berger & Montague, P.C. was also involved. The

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

granted final approval to the Apple settlement on October 18, 2013.

Unlike Google, Apple changed its practices so that its users must

enter their password to make all in-App purchases.

"Google has unfairly profited by marketing free or low-cost games to

children and by permitting them to easily rack up charges for

worthless in-game currency, by failing to incorporate reasonable

controls such as simply requiring the entry of a password," said

Shanon J. Carson of Berger & Montague, P.C., one of the attorneys

representing Plaintiff. "Google is certainly aware that its primary

competitor, Apple, has taken steps to end this unfair practice, and

Google should do the same."

"This practice is widespread, has been condemned by the Federal Trade

Commission and is being investigated by the European Union's consumer

protection officials," said Edwin J. Kilpela, Jr. of Del Sole

Cavanaugh Stroyd, LLC, who also represents the plaintiff. "A company

of Google's size and sophistication either is or should be aware that

it is permitting unauthorized charges by minor children. We look

forward to vindicating the rights of consumers victimized by Google's

policies in this regard."

Parents and guardians of children who purchased in-game currency from

the Google Play App Store without permission may obtain additional

information about the class action lawsuit by calling Patrick F.

Madden at (215) 875-3035, or by email at pmadden@bm.net.

This case is being prosecuted by the class action law firms, Berger &

Montague, P.C., Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd LLC, Carpenter Law Group,

and the Patterson Law Group, APC. Berger & Montague, P.C.

(www.bergermontague.com) consists of over 50 attorneys who represent

plaintiffs in complex and class action litigation. The firm has

played lead roles in major cases for over 40 years resulting in

recoveries of billions of dollars for its clients and the classes they

represent.

SOURCE Berger & Montague, P.C.

-0- 03/10/2014

/CONTACT: Patrick F. Madden, Berger & Montague, P.C., 1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Telephone: (215) 875-3035, Email: pmadden@bm.net

/Web Site: http://www.bergermontague.com

CO: Berger & Montague, P.C.

ST: Pennsylvania California

IN: ITE MEN MLM CPR

SU: LAW CHI

PRN

-- DC80485 --

0000 03/10/2014 21:28:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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