News at Smith

FTC Sues Amazon, Revises Guidelines: Smith’s P.K. Kannan Weighs in

Jul 17, 2014
World Class Faculty & Research



The Federal Trade Commission has revised its guidelines for developing apps targeting children. The move follows an FTC lawsuit against Amazon for allowing its apps to be too accommodating for children to make online purchases without parental consent.

“When it comes to kids, you’re on shaky ground because (apps) are really impulse services, and kids can really fall into a trap,” said P.K. Kannan, Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Marketing Science and chair of the Department of Marketing, in a recent Christian Science Monitor report. 

Such transactions, the FTC alleges, have contributed to Amazon reaping millions of dollars since late 2011 from purchases not confirmed by their accountholders. The updated FTC guidelines target developers and app stores to make parents more aware of how their kids are using apps. 

Read more about the implications for Amazon, including further commentary from Kannan, here.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.