Children’s online games

30 Jan 2014 | by Caroline Sweeney

The OFT has today published its finalised Principles for online and app-based games.

In April 2013, the OFT announced the launch of an investigation into the ways in which online and app-based games encourage children to make purchases. It investigated whether there was general market compliance with consumer protection law, in particular the Consumer Protection (from Unfair Trading) Regulations 2008, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002.  It explored whether online and app-based games included commercial practices that may be considered misleading, aggressive or otherwise unfair under that legislation.

The result is a set of principles that clarifies the OFT’s  view of the obligations of operators in this dynamic new industry under consumer protection law.  The principles can be found here.

Ben Rayment has been advising companies concerned by the OFT’s investigation on the correct application of the law in this sector.