The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced that Take-Two has agreed to settle charges brought upon them after last year's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee fiasco. The FTC charged that the company failed to disclose the hidden sex mini-game content, thereby intentionally deceiving customers. Take-Two was not fined for its actions (it did lose $24.5 million because of the re-rating affair), but if anything similar to this happens again the company will be fined $11,000 per violation.
The proposed consent agreement with the FTC requires Take-Two and Rockstar Games to clearly and prominently disclose on product packaging and in any promotion or advertisement for electronic games, content relevant to the rating, unless that content had been disclosed sufficiently in prior submissions to the rating authority. In addition, the companies cannot misrepresent the rating or content descriptors for an electronic game. Finally, the companies must establish, implement, and maintain a comprehensive system reasonably designed to ensure that all content in an electronic game is considered and reviewed in preparing submissions to a rating authority. Once the order becomes final, the companies will be subject to civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation if they violate the order. The companies will be subject to compliance reporting requirements to ensure that they meet the terms of the order.