Tinder developer sues Google over in-app payments monopoly

San Francisco, May 10 (IANS): Google has been sued by Match Group, the company behind popular dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid, over its restrictive billing policies on the Android Play Store.

Match Group claimed the tech giant “illegally monopolized the app distribution market” on Android by forcing apps to use its own billing system and then taking a cut of the payments.

“Ten years ago, Match Group was Google’s partner. Now we are its hostage. Google attracted app developers to its platform with the assurance that we could offer users the choice of paying for services they want,” he said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit recalls the Epic Games-Apple legal fight over the same issue regarding Apple’s App Store payment policies.

Epic Games, the developer of the Fortnite game, filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2020, alleging the iPhone maker engaged in “anti-competitive” behavior by demanding a 30% commission on in-app purchases in the game. ‘iOS App Store.

A federal judge in the United States later ordered Apple to let developers add links to external payment options on the App Store, denying the tech giant’s request for a stay.

Although Apple largely won that lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers sided with publisher Fortnite over restrictions on in-app purchases on the App Store.

In its lawsuit, Match Group said, “Google controls everything: the dominant market for Android apps; the only way to buy apps on the market; and messaging inside the marketplace so consumers can’t find out about cheaper options elsewhere.

“Google attracted app developers to its platform with the assurance that we could give users the choice to pay for the services they want.

“But once it monopolized the Android app distribution market with Google Play by overlapping the most popular app developers, Google sought to ban other in-app payment processing services in order to to be able to reduce almost all in-app transactions. Android.”

A Google spokesperson said the lawsuit is “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. “.

“Match Group’s apps are eligible to pay just 15% on Google Play for digital subscriptions, which is the lowest rate among major app platforms. But even if they don’t want to comply with policies from Google Play, opening up Android still provides them with multiple ways to distribute their apps to Android users,” the company pointed out.

South Korea’s cabinet approved a bill in March that would ban app store operators from forcing developers to use their own in-app payment systems.

Under the revised enforcement decree, app store operators will have to pay up to 2% of their revenue for forcing developers to use their own integrated payment systems, and 1% for delays in reviewing apps. apps, according to the Korea Communications Commission. .

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