Epic Games Fined with €1.1 Million in Netherlands Court for Misleading Underage Child

@ 2024/05/15
Epic Games, the developer behind the battle royale game Fortnite, has been slapped with a hefty fine of €1.1 million for violating EU consumer laws and pressuring youngsters into making in-game purchases. This decision was made by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) following an investigation into the company's practices. The ACM found that Epic Games had failed to provide clear information about the nature of its in-game purchases, particularly to children. This lack of transparency led to many young players making unintended purchases, which was a clear violation of EU consumer protection laws. The authority also noted that Epic Games' practices were designed to encourage children to make frequent purchases, which further deepens the issue. Netherlands' ACM claims that these were "dark patterns" which are prohibited in the EU. More specifically, these were "Get it now" or "Buy now" phrases that pushed youngsters into making choices. One fine is for illegal aggressive commercial practice that created fear of missing out (FOMO), which is calculated at €562,500. Another €562,500 is fined on countdown timers, which were used in the Item Shop for items that were still available even after the timer had reached zero. This totals €1.125 million.

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