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Google fires back at Match Group for lawsuit over Play Store billing monopoly

Match Group and Google Play logos arranged diagonally with a broken heart emoji in the center

Match Group, the parent company behind popular dating apps such as Match and Tinder, has filed a lawsuit against Google for its alleged monopoly over Play Store billing. It claims that it has done this by enforcing that all in-app purchases should go through Google's billing mechanism, of which the company takes a commission ranging from 15-30% depending upon which tier your app falls in.

As noted by The Verge, Match Group has accused Google of misleading developers:

Google lured app developers to its platform with assurances that we could offer users a choice over how to pay for the services they want. But once it monopolized the market for Android app distribution with Google Play by riding the coattails of the most popular app developers, Google sought to ban alternative in-app payment processing services so it could take a cut of nearly every in-app transaction on Android.

In response, Google has published a sternly worded blog post calling Match Group's campaign cynical and accusing it of attempting to be a freeloader off Google's investments rather than being a "responsible partner".

The software giant claims that Match Group has benefited massively from Google Play policies in the past, but now it is doing all it can to avoid paying entirely. Google says that in order to succeed in this effort, Match Group is employing tactics like lobbying policymakers, misusing the court, and hinting to investors that switching to an alternative payment mechanism would "exempt them from paying for the valuable services they receive from Google Play".

The company's blog post contains more details but here are the highlights of Google's defense against Match Group's claims:

  • Google's fees cover the full range of services that Google Play provides, not just payment processing
  • Its fees are the lowest among major app stores
  • Regulators are investigating Match Group's safety problems related to subscription fraud
  • Match Group has had ample time to make changes in response to Google's billing policies
  • Google Play Store is the only major app store piloting true user choice billing
  • Android is the only mobile platform that offers Match Group alternative distribution choices through other app stores or directly through their website

Google says that it will continue fighting against false allegations and has emphasized that Android is the most open mobile platform.

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