Mobile applications: the European Commission wants to impose rules on “freemium” models
The European Commission wants to impose 4 measures on application platforms and publishers …
The European Commission has been meeting since yesterday various players in the mobile applications sector and national supervisory authorities to impose greater transparency for consumers on spending made inside mobile applications – so-called “purchases”. in-app »- in contrast to transactions carried out on purchasing platforms such as the App Store or Google Play. More specifically, it criticizes publishers for promoting certain mobile games as “free” when services are actually invoiced within the software. An economic model commonly called ” freemium “.
“Consumers, and especially children, need to be better protected against unforeseen purchase costs in-app. National regulatory authorities and the European Commission are discussing with the industry how to deal with this issue which not only causes financial damage to consumers, but can also jeopardize the credibility of this very promising market ”explains Neven Mimica, head of consumer policy.
The European institution wishes to reach an agreement on four essential points. She does not want games presented as “free” to contain any direct inducements that urge children to buy items in them, or that make adults buy them for them. It also considers that, in the context of purchases in-app, credit cards cannot be debited by default and “without the express consent of the consumer”. The communication of an e-mail address, which would serve as an after-sales service, where to submit a request or complaint, could also be required.
“Deceiving consumers is clearly a bad business model and goes against the spirit of European Union consumer protection rules. The European Commission expects very concrete responses from the applications industry regarding the concerns expressed by citizens and national consumer organizations ”explains Viviane Redng, Vice-President of the Commission and European Commissioner for Justice and Human Rights. fundamentals and citizenship.
The mobile applications market, which already employs 1 million people in Europe, should reach 63 billion euros within 5 years and 80% of revenues should come from purchases made in applications according to a Distimo study cited by the European Commission.