Google faced heat from Tinder owner Match Group, which filed a lawsuit in the US accusing the technology giant of deploying anticompetitive tactics over its approach to payments on its Play Store app marketplace.
Match Group claimed its lawsuit was a last resort to prevent its apps being kicked off the Play Store for refusing to share its revenue. In addition to Tinder, the company operates a self-titled dating service and OkCupid.
Google stated it will block downloads of Tinder, Match and OkCupid by 1 June unless Match Group solely offers its payment system and shares its revenue.
Match Group argues the majority of users on its biggest app Tinder prefer its in-house payment system, which allows for instalment plans and bank transfers, features not offered by Google.
The company’s complaints follows numerous app developers arguing against both Google and Apple’s rules to take a cut of 30 per cent from in-app payments. In October 2021, Google reduced its fee to 15 per cent after facing scrutiny, following Apple.
Match Group alleged after initially becoming a Google partner ten years ago, it was now the search giant’s “hostage”, claiming the company lured app developers to its platform with assurances they could offer users a choice over how to pay for the services they want.
“But once it monopolised the market for Android app distribution with Google Play by riding the coat-tails of the most popular app developers, Google sought to ban alternative in-app payment processing services so it could a take a cut of nearly every in-app transaction on Android,” Match Group explained.
Google hit back at the lawsuit, telling Reuters Match Group was attempting to dodge payments for the value it receives.