(CNBC) - The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon.com, alleging Amazon unlawfully billed parents millions of dollars for unauthorized purchases in children's apps.
Thousands of parents and other account holders have reported to the FTC that Amazon billed them for charges of up to hundreds of dollars in some cases for purchases children made on Amazon's apps, according to the suit.
The FTC says Amazon often failed to gain informed consent from parents or other account holders for the in-app charges children had incurred.
The suit also says the retailer began billing for in-app charges "well after" media reports surfaced over unauthorized purchases children were making from other app stores.
"Just weeks after Amazon began billing for in-app charges," say court documents filed by the FTC, "consumer complaints about unauthorized charges by children on Amazon's mobile devices reached levels an Amazon Appstore manager described as 'near house on fire.'"