Alternative in-app payments: Match wins a battle against Google

Dating app giant Match Group (Tinder, Meetic, OKCupid, etc.) announced Friday that it has withdrawn its request for a temporary restraining order against Google after the Play Store operator conceded it would allow the group to offer temporarily to users of alternative payment systems.

For several years, Match Group has offered its own payment solution to users of its services, which does not please Google. In early May, Match sued Google after being told it had to remove its apps from the Play Store by May 1.er June because the dating app owner refused to share up to 30% of its sales, as required by Google’s developer distribution agreement.

Match went on to say that his legal action was “a measure of last resort”. The trial date is currently set for April 2023.

Google Hostage

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in California, alleges that Google violated its mandate requiring certain app developers to use Google Play Billing to process payments.

Match adds in its statement that as part of the temporary deal, it will put up to $40 million into an escrow account, rather than paying Google for billing transactions on the Android operating system outside of Android. Google Play Store billing.

The Match group says that over the past decade, Google has used “bait and switch tactics” to “exploit” app developers. The group adds that Google misleadingly claims to support developers by paying competitors not to enter the market. “10 years ago, Match Group was a partner of Google. We are now hostage,” Match Group insisted in court. “Google has made Google Play the only viable marketplace for Android apps (…) but that’s not enough for it. It also wants to control the much more lucrative market for in-app payment processing on Android. »

Google strikes back

Google hit back, saying the statement released by the Tinder owner was “misleading” and “misrepresented what happened in the process.”

The Play Store operator notes that the group has “successfully used the billing system in more than 10 of its apps”, and raised “hundreds of millions of consumer revenue in over 50 countries through Google billing”. Play last year”.

Google adds that it will sue the Match group in return, on the grounds that the publisher of dating applications has not honored its obligations under the distribution agreement to developers and “to ensure that Google Play remains a trusted destination for users”.

Pilot project

Apple and Google are under scrutiny around the world when it comes to payment systems for their app stores. Indeed, many regulators believe that the two giants hinder competition in the field of application stores and mobile operating systems.

Last March, Google announced a pilot project with Spotify to allow a “small number of participating developers” to offer an alternative payment option alongside the Google Play store payment system. Users who downloaded Spotify from the Google Play Store will have the choice to pay either with Spotify’s payment system or with Google Play’s billing system.

Source: ZDNet.com

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