Dating app owner sues Google over monopolistic practices

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Match Group alleged that Google has monopolized the Play Store and is now abusing its power.

Match Group alleged that Google has monopolized the Play Store and is now abusing its power.

Tinder owner Match Group said it filed a lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google to stop the tech giant from removing its apps from the Play Store.

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The company, which also owns dating apps like Match, OkCupid and several others, alleged that Google monopolized the Play Store and is now abusing its power by requiring the dating app maker to use Google’s billing system. .

“This lawsuit is a measure of last resort,” Match Group CEO Shar Dubey said in a statement. “We have tried, in good faith, to resolve these issues with Google, but their insistence and threats to remove our brands’ apps from the Google Play Store by June 1 left us with no choice but to take legal action.”

Google, which charges a 15% fee on all subscriptions and up to 30% on all other in-app purchases, “would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in inflated fees,” the Tinder owner said, adding that the search giant’s requirement will eliminate user choice over its apps and increase costs for consumers.

Additionally, the dating app maker says Google Play’s billing is lower, lacking the capabilities its payment systems currently offer.

“They want access to the global distribution platform and Google Play users, they want to unfairly leverage Google’s substantial investment in the platform, and they want it all for free,” said Wilson White, vice-president. president of government affairs and public policy at Google in a blog post. post, in response to Match Group’s claims against Google Play.

Google and rival Apple both control their mobile app stores and have come under scrutiny for charging 15% to 30% service fees for in-app purchases. Last year, Google announced it was cutting service fees in its app store by half to 15%, amid growing pressure from regulators.

Google has also been sued by a coalition of 37 state attorneys general over the Android in-app payments monopoly, and investigations have been conducted by the US House and Senate, the European Commission, and government entities in India, France. , Germany, Japan, UK, Australia and South Africa, with some litigation resulting in billions of dollars in fines.

The Google Play Store, which has more than 2.5 billion 30-day active users in 190 countries, is an important distribution channel for mobile applications on smart devices running the Android operating system. More than 90% of all Android app downloads happen through the Play Store, the dating app maker noted.

“They [Google] controlling the distribution of apps on Android devices and claiming that developers could successfully reach consumers on Android elsewhere. That’s like saying “you don’t have to take the elevator to get to the 60th floor of a building, you can always scale the outside wall,” Dubey said.

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