Match Group sues Google over ‘monopoly power’ in Android app payments

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The parent company of dating apps Tinder, Match and OkCupid is suing Google, alleging the company has too much control over payments through its Google Play app store.

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lawsuitfiled on Monday in the Northern District of California accuses the company of using “anti-competitive tactics” to maintain a monopoly on the Android mobile ecosystem:

“Ten years ago Match Group partnered with Google. Now we are his hostages. Google has lured app developers to its platform by assuring us that we can offer users the choice of how they want to pay for the services they want.

But once the company monopolized the market for Android app distribution through Google Play, ahead of the most popular app developers, Google sought to ban alternative in-app payment processing services in order to get a cut of almost every Android app transaction. “.

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The Match lawsuit is the latest time that app developers are seeking exemptions from Google and Apple from the 30 percent standard cut. sometimes 15 percent — which these tech giants extract from in-app payments. Long-standing tensions around the issue peaked in 2020 when Epic Games sued Apple for antitrust violations, a case that did not result in a clear winner but forced Apple to allow developers point your users to alternative payment methods.

Faced with pressure from its restrictive payment options, Google recently launched a pilot program that will allow apps to offer an alternative payment method alongside their own in-app Google Play system. Spotify was the only company named as a participant in the pilot program, and Match claims the company has given up on its own attempts to sign up.

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At the same time, Google announced plans to crack down on apps that bypass its payment systems, setting a June 1 deadline. application company.

“They control the distribution of apps on Android devices and pretend that developers can successfully work with Android users in other places,” Dubey said. “It’s like saying, ‘You don’t have to take the elevator to get to the 60th floor of a building, you can always climb the outside wall.’ It is illegal”.

Match Group is a member App Fairness Coalition, a developer advocacy group that draws attention to how Apple and Google’s dominance of the mobile software market is negatively impacting app developers. Epic Games, Spotify, and Tile are other prominent members of the group, which was formed in 2020, around the time Epic exacerbated his own complaints.

Developers, tired of paying Apple and Google such a huge share of their app revenues, are increasing the pressure on these companies, but governments around the world are also showing increasing interest in the issue.

In the US, bipartisan Open Market Law will hack the app store for iOS and Android, reversing the common stranglehold of Apple and Google in the world of mobile software. The bill left the Senate committee earlier this year and appears poised to continue its slow progress towards becoming law.

Last week, a complaint in the Netherlands against the Google Play Store by Match Group caused preliminary investigation potential anti-competitive practices of the company. this country Consumer and Markets Authority is also arguing with Apple over its own app payment processes, and the company has been ordered by a regulatory group to allow dating apps to offer alternative payment methods.

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