Match Group has filed a lawsuit against Google for allegedly having a monopoly on income from in-app purchases.
Match Group, the maker of popular dating apps Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid, has filed a lawsuit against Google for anti-competitive behavior in its app store.
The Dallas-based online dating website accused Google of abusing its market position over the Android ecosystem to prevent app developers from using alternative in-app payment methods in a complaint filed in a California district court yesterday (9 May).
“Match Group was Google’s partner ten years ago. We’ve been taken prisoner by it. The lawsuit claims that Google enticed app developers to its platform with promises that “we could provide users a choice of how to pay for the services they want.”
“However, once Google Play had monopolized the Android app distribution business by riding the coattails of the most popular app developers, it attempted to prohibit competing in-app payment processing systems so it could take a cut of practically every in-app transaction on Android.”
Google and Apple both take a 30% commission on apps that sell in-app products and services and are housed on their respective stores. Both developers and authorities are concerned that the two corporations have too much power in the mobile app market.
In December, the UK Competition and Markets Authority stated that Google and Apple have too much power, which can “restrict innovation and choice.” Spotify and Epic Games have also expressed dissatisfaction with Apple’s monopoly over the App Store.
While Google requires in-app purchases to be made through its billing service, which gets a share, it stated earlier this year that it is developing a means for Android developers to offer their own payment systems, with Spotify as the first.
However, it is unknown what kind of commission Google will receive as a result of this arrangement.
Match Group accused Google of using “bait and switch techniques” to exploit the app developers “it so zealously courted and professed to promote” in its case.
“Google Play has grown into the sole viable Android app marketplace,” the company added. “A developer must have their app on Google Play if they want customers to locate it.”
Match also slammed Google’s “extortionate tax” of up to 30% on in-app payment receipts as commission.
What Is Google’s Opinion?
According to the New York Times, Google reacted by announcing that Match Group’s apps were qualified for a 15 percent reduced commission on in-app purchases of digital subscriptions, a figure that Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels described as “the lowest rate among major app platforms.”
“This is just another example of Match Group’s self-serving campaign to avoid paying for the considerable value they derive from the mobile platforms on which they’ve established their business,” Schottenfels added.
Google responded to the complaint with a lengthy statement aimed at “putting the record right” on Match Group’s “cynical campaign” against the Google Play store.
Digging In More Details
“Because Match Group doesn’t believe it should have to pay anything for the significant services we provide,” the statement adds, “it’s willing to jeopardize user safety as part of a global campaign to slander our business and how we operate.”
“We’re always willing to engage with partners in good faith to grow and improve the ecosystem, but we’ll stand firm against fraudulent attacks on our business, especially when it puts users at risk and jeopardizes our ability to continue investing in and serving our developer community.”