European Commission to take Apple and Google to task over free-to-play

Many apps are 'misleading' consumers

European Commission to take Apple and Google to task over free-to-play

The European Commission has invited Apple and Google to take part in a consultation to discuss potentially misleading practices within free-to-play games.

The meeting has been triggered by concerns raised by consumer groups from across major European nations, such as the UK, Denmark, Italy and Belgium.

As detailed by Reuters, the EC is particularly interested in games laden with in-app purchases, with the question of whether free-to-play games are "misleading", sporting what the Commission describes as "hidden costs".


Reuters claims Apple and Google are just two of the major players that will take part in the consultation,

"Misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection," detailed the EU's justice commissioner, Viviane Reding.

"The European Commission will expect very concrete answers from the app industry to the concerns raised by citizens and national consumer organisations."

The EC is reported to be looking into whether clearer explanations as to the costs involved need to be given to consumers pre-download, whether attempts to induce the player into parting with their cash need to be curbed and whether games are taking payments without clear consent.

The Commission will also question whether developers need to make themselves more accountable to consumer complaints, with the prospect of having to provide an email address for customer queries and complaints on the agenda.

[source: Reuters]


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.