Apple to compensate parents whose kids go app crazy

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If your kids have been racking up massive bills on their iDevices then there may be some relief in sight. The company says it will pay to settle a lawsuit over so-called “bait apps”.

While it costs nothing to download these apps, they do charge for in-app currency, including virtual goods or money.

According to GigaOM, Apple will offer a US$5 iTunes credit to anyone who claims that a minor bought in-app items without their permission.

If the amount is larger than US$5, then Apple will give them an iTunes voucher to the equivalent value and if it’s larger than US$30, then Apple will send them a cash rebate.

The settlement came after concerned parents had sued Apple in 2011, after discovering that their children had racked up credit card charges on supposedly free games.

One of GigaOM’s own writers was a victim of the problem, with his kids racking up US$375 on a virtual fish game.

Any parent who wants to collect on the statement will have to attest that a minor bought in-game currency and that they did not give the user the Apple password.

It’s unclear how much Apple will end up paying out but in a statement, it said that it would email “over 23-million iTunes account holders who made a Game Currency purchase in one or more Qualified Apps.”

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