Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU

Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats

Apple’s "free" apps are "free" no more, thanks to the EU. Instead of clicking a button labelled with the word, fanbois must now select a button marked “get”.

The move appears to be in response to warnings from the European Commission that the “free” label is misleading when games contain in-app purchases and could lead to legal action.

In July, the Commish teamed up with national authorities to step up enforcement of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. In particular, it said that: “Games advertised as 'free' should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved.”

Games should also avoid “direct exhortation to children to buy items” in a game and should seek consumers’ “explicit consent” before charging them.

Under the threat of legal action, Google immediately volunteered to stop using the word "free" when games contain in-app purchases and the fruity firm seems to have been inspired by this approach.

According to the Commish more than 50 per cent of the EU online games’ market consists of games advertised as free, despite often incorporating costly, in-app purchases. ®

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