If your Apple iTunes account was charged for an in-app purchase made by a minor in a game app without your knowledge or permission, you could be entitled to benefits under the proposed Apple iTunes In-App Purchase class action settlement.
Apple, Inc. has reportedly agreed to a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit against it (“Apple” or “Defendant”) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (captioned In re Apple In-App Purchase Litigation, Case No. 5:11-CV-01758-EJD) (Judge Edward J. Davila) alleging, among other things, that certain game apps from Apple’s iTunes App Store allowed minors to charge in-app purchases in Qualified Apps (“Game Currency”), such as virtual currency or other virtual content for games played on Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, to an iTunes account without the account holder’s knowledge or permission, according to the proposed Apple iTunes In-App Purchase class action settlement agreement.
Who Is Included In The Proposed Apple ITunes In-App Purchase Class Action Settlement?
The proposed Apple iTunes In-App Purchase settlement class reportedly includes all United States residents who, prior to the date of preliminary approval paid for Game Currency charged to their iTunes account by a minor without their knowledge or permission. The Settlement Class reportedly excludes Apple, any entity in which Apple has a controlling interest; Apple’s directors, officers, and employees; Apple’s legal representatives, successors, and assigns; and all persons who validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class.
“Game Currency” reportedly means any In-App Purchase in a Qualified App. A “Qualified Apps” refers to all Game Apps that were available for download through the Apple iTunes App Store prior to the preliminary approval date, offered Game Currency, and have a “4+” or “9+” or “12+” rating in the App Store.
What Settlement Benefits Does The Proposed Apple ITunes In-App Purchase Class Action Settlement Provide?
Under the proposed Apple iTunes In-App Purchase class action settlement, Settlement Class Members reportedly will be entitled to receive either a single iTunes Store credit in the amount of five dollars or payment equal to the total amount of Qualified Game Currency Charges made by a minor to the iTunes account without the account holder’s knowledge or permission within a single forty-five (45) day period, less any refund received previously for those charges. Settlement Class Members may also reportedly request refunds for Qualified Game Currency Charges that occurred after the forty-five (45) day period in a claim for Aggregate Relief if they furnish an explanation of the circumstances that made it possible for a minor to make Qualified Game Currency Charges after forty-five (45) days, including the circumstances that made it possible for the minor to continue to charge Game Currency after they were puportedly notified of earlier Game Currency charges through Apple emails and their credit card statement(s).
Records of Settlement Class Members’ In-App Purchases may be obtained by them by reviewing purchase history in iTunes by selecting “View My Apple ID” from the iTunes “Store” menu, entering Apple IDs and associated password, and clicking “See All” under the heading titled “Purchase History.” To qualify for a settlement benefit, settlement class members must submit a valid online Claim Form.
The proposed settlement, which requires court approval, was scheduled for a preliminary approval hearing on March 1, 2013.
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