The legislative arm of the European Union put out a press release on Friday, boasting that action by itself and its member states has led to better protection for consumers in online games. It also took the opportunity to scold Apple for not doing enough to protect and inform consumers about in-app purchases.
Many popular titles on the iOS App Store are free to download, but encourage — and in some cases require — users to pay money to unlock new parts of the game.
While noting that Google has made a number of changes, the European Commission said it hopes for more from Apple, particularly in that Apple hasn’t addressed their concerns over payment authorization tied to iTunes accounts.
The commission also chided Apple for not firmly committing to a timetable on other possible changes. The commission would like Apple not to use the word “Free” at all when listing games with in-app purchases. Google has said it will comply with that request by the end of September.
The European Commission asked Apple, Google, and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe to make sure that games do not directly ask children to buy items in a game, or ask them to persuade an adult to buy items for them.
They also suggest that consumers be adequately informed about payment arrangement for purchases, and such purchases should require the consumers explicit consent before being made.