Amazon should have done more to prevent kids from racking up huge bills on mobile apps, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.
The Federal Trade Commission is seeking millions of dollars in refunds for parents whose children made unauthorized purchases for in-app items in Amazon's store.
For example, the app "Ice Age Village" allows users to buy additional "coins" and "acorns" using real money, the FTC said. The largest possible in-game purchase would be $99.99, according to the agency.
Some parents received bills for hundreds of dollars for their children's spending sprees, the FTC said.
Amazon keeps 30 percent of all in-app purchases, according to the complaint. The store offers apps for the Kindle Fire and other devices that use the Android operating system.
"Amazon's in-app system allowed children to incur unlimited charges on their parents' accounts without permission," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. "Even Amazon's own employees recognized the serious problem its process created."
The case is similar to one the FTC brought against Apple earlier this year. But Apple quickly agreed to a $32.5 million settlement and promised to change its practices to ensure that children have their parents' permission for purchases. Amazon is expected to fight the case in court.