Apple has replaced the word 'free' with 'get' on its App Store after claims by the European Commission that the word 'free' can mislead customers about the costs associated with free apps and games that feature in-app purchases.
The European Commission criticised Apple back in July over its lack of action regarding inadvertent purchases made by children playing free online games that use in-app purchases to generate revenue.
Apple had promised to make changes to the App Store to address the Commission's concerns, although it did not say when it would implement the changes.
Google has already responded to similar pressure from the Commission by changing the 'Top Free Apps' label on Google Play to 'Top Apps'.
The Commission believes that apps labelled as ‘free' could mislead consumers about the true costs involved in their use, and does not want in-app purchases to be directly marketed at children or to encourage parents to pay for additional features.
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said in July that the Commission supports innovation in the mobile app market but wants companies involved to abide by European regulations.
"In-app purchases are a legitimate business model, but it's essential for app makers to understand and respect EU law while they develop these new business models," she said.
The Commission's concerns are based on numerous incidents of children running up huge bills on a parent's credit card through inadvertent or deliberate in-app purchases.
V3 contacted Apple for comment, but the company has yet to respond.
Apple has found itself in hot water over in-app purchases before. The company was forced to pay back $32.5m to consumers after a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission that the purchases had been made without account holders' consent.
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