The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging the online retailing giant billed parents for unauthorized in-app purchases made by children totaling millions of dollars.

In a statement released Thursday, the FTC claims Amazon allowed kids to make purchases within apps downloaded via mobile devices such as the Kindle Fire tablets without parental consent. The purchases would then be charged to the account holder without permission.

The FTC also says when Amazon started allowing in-app purchases in 2011, they did not implement measures such as password requirements to prevent kids from unknowingly racking up purchases on their parents' accounts.

Even Amazon's own employees recognized the serious problem its process created, said FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement. We are seeking refunds for affected parents and a court order to ensure that Amazon gets parents' consent for in-app purchases.

Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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