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[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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
SOURCE Berger & Montague, P.C.
/CONTACT: Patrick F. Madden, Berger & Montague, P.C., 1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Telephone: (215) 875-3035, Email: email@example.com
/Web Site: http://www.bergermontague.com
CO: Berger & Montague, P.C.
ST: Pennsylvania California
IN: ITE MEN MLM CPR
SU: LAW CHI
-- DC80485 --
0000 03/10/2014 21:28:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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