Google to Allow Match to Offer Alternate Payment Systems on Play Store
Match Group said on Friday that Alphabet’s Google will allow the dating apps maker to offer users a choice in payment systems, eliminating Google’s control over user data.
Match sued Google in May, calling the action a “last resort” to prevent Tinder and its other apps from being booted off the Google Play store for refusing to share up to 30 percent of sales.
The company said it has withdrawn its request for a temporary restraining order against Google after some concessions, including eliminating its complete control over user data.
Match’s lawsuit came against the backdrop of ongoing cases brought by Fortnite maker Epic Games, dozens of US state attorneys general and others in targeting Google’s allegedly anticompetitive conduct related to the Play store.
The development comes almost 10 days after Google rejected an app store monopoly suit filed by Tinder parent Match Group, saying it is a “self-interested” campaign putting money ahead of user safety.
Google’s response came a day after Match filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco accusing the tech titan of abusing control of the Play Store that sells digital content for Android-powered phones.
“This is just a continuation of Match Group’s self-interested campaign to avoid paying for the significant value they receive from the mobile platforms they’ve built their business on,” a Google spokesperson told AFP.
The litigation comes as part of an ongoing battle by Match, Epic Games and others to force Google parent Alphabet and iPhone maker Apple to loosen their grips on their respective app stores.
Match’s filing came after Google modified Play Store rules to require its family of apps to use the Internet giant’s payment system, which collects fees of up to 30 percent on transactions, court paperwork said.
Google has made it clear that it will remove Match apps from the Play Store if they do not comply with the rule, Match said in the filing, which described such punishment as a “death knell.”
“This is a case about the strategic manipulation of markets, broken promises, and abuse of power,” Match said in the suit.
Google countered that Match is free to make its apps available elsewhere online, including on its own website.
While the App Store is the only gateway for content to get onto Apple mobile devices, users of Android-powered smartphones or tablets can download apps at their own risk from online venues other than Google’s Play Store.
Match’s lawsuit contends that despite having options, users get content for Android devices from the Play Store more than 90 percent of the time.
Match apps offered in the Play Store qualify to pay fees of just 15 percent on subscriptions, according to the Google spokesperson.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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