The Federal Trade Commission announced back in January that it has reached a settlement with mobile ad company Tapjoy over allegations it was misleading users about the in-game rewards.
FTC said Tapjoy was aware of these problems and didn’t take action to address them. Instead, the mobile advertising company “ implemented policies to discourage consumers from complaining, such as prohibiting consumers from submitting a complaint within 24 hours of completing an offer.” it alleged.
According to Melissa Landau Steinman, a partner at Venable who analyzed the Tapjoy settlement, the FTC is likely to broaden its examination of in-game ad practices following Tapjoy settlement.
“They’re saying they need to look at the whole industry of mobile gaming, what’s structurally wrong with it,” she said in an interview. “This is the opening volley, and the mobile gaming industry should watch out.”
The statement of the Tapjoy settlement emphasized that “The Commission must closely scrutinize today’s gaming gatekeepers, including app stores and advertising middlemen, to prevent harm to developers and gamers.”
Commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter condemned “lax policing practices that led hundreds of thousands of gamers to file complaints.”
The FTC said that if the terms of the Tapjoy settlement are not met, up to $ 43,280 civil penalty will be imposed for each violation.