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total 300 words

Liability of Minors for Purchase of Game App

Parents of minors took Apple to court in 2012 for supplying game applications on iPhones that were free but through which users could purchase in-game currencies. Apparently, parents would log on to the games, but within a subsequent 15-minute time frame, the minors using the game would rack up bills ranging from $99.99 to $338.72 at a time.

Apple stated that although minors were downloading these applications and in-game currency, the contract in question was actually the Terms of Service between the parents and Apple. According to the Terms of Service, any unauthorized log-on on one’s account or unauthorized purchases by anyone on the account was the responsibility of the account holder. On the other hand, the parents argued that all application and in-game purchases made by minors were separate contracts that may be disaffirmed by a parent or guardian. Apple also argued that a contract as the parents were describing it could not legally exist in that, as the parents described the scenario, the contractual offer was made to parents in the Terms of Service, yet accepted by the children, and consideration was provided by the parents (the original offerees).1

  1. Do the individual purchases made by the minors indeed qualify as separate contracts between Apple and the minors?
  2. Even if the purchases were contracts between the minors and Apple, could the parents void these contracts?

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