Google allows Tinder Owner Match to offer alternative payment systems to users in 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 launching from the Google Play Store because they refuse to share up to 30 percent of sales.

The company said it had withdrawn its request for a temporary restriction against Google after some concessions, including eliminating its full control over user data.

Match’s lawsuit came against the backdrop of ongoing litigation brought by Fortnite maker Epic Games, dozens of U.S. state attorneys and others in directing Google’s alleged competing behavior in connection with the Play Store.

The development comes nearly 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, which accused 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 prevent them from paying for the significant value they receive from the mobile platforms on which they have built their business,” a Google spokesman told AFP.

The lawsuit 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 grip on their respective app stores.

Match’s request came after Google changed the Play Store’s 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 papers 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 application, which described such a penalty as a “death knell”.

“This is a case of strategic manipulation of markets, broken promises and abuse of power,” Match said in the case.

Google opposes Match being free to make its apps available online elsewhere, including on its own website.

While the App Store is the only port for content to access Apple mobile devices, users of Android-powered smartphones or tablets can download apps at their own risk from online sites other than Google’s Play Store.

Match’s lawsuit claims 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 are eligible to pay only 15 percent fees for subscriptions, according to a Google spokesman.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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