The company and its affiliates will be required to comply with the attorney general’s guidelines on clear and conspicuous disclosure of material items in the online marketing of mobile content.
The settlement “will benefit Florida consumers and cell phone users nationwide,” said Attorney General McCollum. “These compliance guidelines will help ensure meaningful disclosure so that all consumers, including minors, fully understand what they are purchasing.”
The AG office asserts that Media Breakaway provides mobile content, usually ringtones or wallpaper for an individual’s cell phone, marketed by internet advertising, which often failed to clearly and conspicuously describe the prices and terms of service. The mobile content, described as “free” or “complimentary,” usually resulted in a consumer unwittingly being signed up for costly monthly subscriptions. A large number of CyberFraud complaints led to a widespread investigation over the past several months which revealed thousands of Florida consumers had received these charges on their cell phone bills for mobile content downloads that they neither desired nor authorized.
The new agreement requires that the price of cell phone content or services and other material terms of purchase be conspicuously and specifically disclosed on all online transaction screens. In addition to the new injunctive standard, the agreement also provides for a payment of $1 million to the Attorney General’s Office to be used to fund additional investigations into CyberFraud and to further CyberSafety education.
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