Tinder takes on Google’s payment monopoly on Android

Match Group is suing Google over its app store rules.

The parent company of dating apps Tinder, Match and OkCupid is suing Google. She says the company has excessive control over the payments made. And this, through its Google Play application marketplace.

Google’s stranglehold

Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, filed a lawsuit Monday in the Northern District of California. She accuses Google of deploying “anti-competitive tactics” to maintain a monopoly over the Android mobile ecosystem. Clearly, Match accuses the Mountain View firm of forcing applications to use its own billing system and then taking part of the payments.

“Google controls everything: the dominant marketplace for Android apps; the only way to buy applications on the market place; and messaging inside the marketplace, so consumers can’t learn about cheaper options elsewhere”, says Match in his lawsuit. The group adds that after monopolizing the Android app distribution market with Google Play, the giant has sought to ban alternative in-app payment processing services. And this, “so that you can take a share of almost all in-app transactions on Android”.

Put simply, according to Match Group, monopolizing the in-app payment processing market on Android allows Google to impose a 15-30% tax on the billions of dollars users spend on “digital goods and services”. ” on Android. The complaint also accuses Google of using bait and switch tactics to exploit app developers.

Google’s response

The Mountain Views firm told the New York Times that, like any business, it charges for its services. A Google spokesperson said the lawsuit was “just a continuation of Match Group’s self-serving campaign to avoid paying for the significant value they receive from the mobile platforms they’ve built their business on.” He pointed out that Match Group apps can only pay 15% on Google Play for digital subscriptions. Which would be the lowest rate among the major app platforms. “But even if they don’t want to comply with Google Play rules, opening up Android still gives them multiple ways to distribute their apps to Android users”insists the spokesperson.

In a blog post Wilson White, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, said Google Play billing is an important part of its business model. This would allow the company to offer consumers “essential protections against phenomena such as payment fraud and subscription abuse”.

Match’s lawsuit is the latest example of app developers asking Google and Apple to relieve them of the 30% cut the tech giants take from in-app payments. As a reminder, after being sued, Apple allowed developers to offer their users other payment options. Fortnite game developer Epic Games filed a lawsuit against the Cupertino giant in 2020 claiming the iPhone maker engaged in “anti-competitive” behavior by demanding a 30% commission on in-app purchases in the iOS App Store.

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