Epic Hit With Over $500M in FTC Penalties

The Federal Trade Commission announces it has levied over a half-billion dollars in penalties on Epic Games over violations of children's privacy laws (thanks Neutronbeam). This comprises two different settlements, one a $275 million penalty and the other for $245 million in refunds. Word is the punishment is because of some razzle-dazzle in Fortnite privacy settings while the refunds are due to the abuse of dark patterns:
The Federal Trade Commission has secured agreements requiring Epic Games, Inc., creator of the popular video game Fortnite, to pay a total of $520 million in relief over allegations the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and deployed design tricks, known as dark patterns, to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases.

The FTC’s action against Epic involves two separate record-breaking settlements. As part of a proposed federal court order filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, Epic will pay a $275 million monetary penalty for violating the COPPA Rule—the largest penalty ever obtained for violating an FTC rule. Additionally, in a first-of-its-kind provision, Epic will be required to adopt strong privacy default settings for children and teens, ensuring that voice and text communications are turned off by default. Under a separate proposed administrative order, Epic will pay $245 million to refund consumers for its dark patterns and billing practices, which is the FTC’s largest refund amount in a gaming case, and its largest administrative order in history.