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Dutch Urge Stricter Digital Coins, Videogame Loot Boxes EU Rules

BRUSSELS, July 19 (Reuters) - The European Commission should better protect children with stricter consumer rules for digital coins and videogame loot boxes, the Dutch government said, according to a discussion paper seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The EU executive late last year sought feedback on whether to overhaul the existing EU consumer law for the digital world. Any changes will likely come in the second quarter of 2024.

The Dutch said an area of concern was increasing digital coins usage for paying in an app or in videogames, with children as the most vulnerable to this practice.

"When a consumer makes a lot of purchases consecutively, it is difficult for them to maintain oversight of the total amount of money they have spent in the game," said the paper shared with the Commission and other EU countries on Wednesday.

"This is exacerbated by the fact that software developers can change the value of digital coins and can offer different digital items in one app."

The paper said consumer rules should also extend to videogames loot boxes which are virtual objects that gamers can buy with real money or earn by playing, and are an important source of revenue for developers.

"Loot boxes have a high potential to distort the economic behaviour of consumers. Especially minors are at risk of excessive spending when they're presented with the option to pay for opening a loot box," the paper said.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Josie Kao

Source: Reuters

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