Apple in-app purchase settlementUPDATE 1: Details on how to file a claim for the Apple iTunes In-App Purchase Class Action Lawsuit Settlement are here!

UPDATE 2: Viewers have reported that they received their $5 Apple iTunes In-App Purchase settlement reimbursement

A federal judge on Thursday preliminarily approved a class action lawsuit settlement over Apple’s failure to obtain parental consent before minors could make in-app purchases on “free to play” games. The Apple in-app purchase settlement will provide eligible consumers a minimum $5 iTunes store credit or cash payment if they submit a valid claim.

The settlement resolves a number of class action lawsuits filed in 2011 and consolidated later that year from parents who claim Apple’s in-app purchase policy was not clearly spelled out and tricked children into racking up expensive charges.

The class action lawsuits were filed following an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after it learned game developers were advertising “free” children’s games on iTunes and then charging high-prices for in-app purchases of “Gaming Currency” (i.e., virtual supplies, content or currency) without clearly warning parents. These purchases could cost users as much as $100 in a single click.

“This practice enabled minors to buy Game Currency, in one click sums of $99.99 or more, without entering a password, causing Apple to pocket millions of dollars from such Game Currency transactions with minors and without the authorization of their parents, whose credit cards or PayPal accounts are automatically charged for the purchases,” the class action lawsuit says.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila granted preliminary approval to the Apple app settlement on May 2, which will provide a minimum payout of $5 in iTunes store credit or a cash payment for those who no longer hold an iTunes account. Judge Davila called the settlement “fair” and “adequate, if not exceptional,” given that over 23 million iTunes account holders could benefit from the class action lawsuit settlement.

Details on how to file a claim were not immediately available, but court documents say a Claim Form must be submitted by July 31, 2013 i order to receive the iTunes credit or cash award. A Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for October 18, 2013.

Keep checking Top Class Actions for details on how to file a claim for the Apple In-App Purchase Class Action Lawsuit Settlement once they’re available, or sign up for free settlement alerts below.

The case is In re: Apple In-App Purchase Litigation, Case No. 11-cv-1758 EJD, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division.

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