Google has reached an interim agreement with Match Group, the dating app provider behind Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid, allowing its apps to remain in the Google Play Store and offer alternative payment systems, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal†
Earlier this month, Match Group filed a complaint against Google, alleging that the company has “illegally monopolized the app distribution market” by requiring app developers to use Google’s billing system and then save up to 30 percent on in-app purchases. Match Group later asked for a temporary restraining order against Google, but withdrew its request Friday after Google made some concessions.
In addition to Google’s promise that it will not block or remove Match Group’s apps from the Play Store for using third-party payment systems, Google must make a “good faith” effort to “build additional billing system features that are important to Match Group.” Match has also pledged to work on offering Google’s billing system as an option in its apps.
Instead of paying Google a commission for payments made outside of its billing system, Match has set up a $40 million escrow account until an official agreement is reached, and is required to keep track of any fees Google would owe from the get-go. have been. July 1st. Both companies will appear in court in April 2023. Google says it plans to file a counterclaim against Match for alleged violations of the Developer Distribution Agreement in the meantime.
Like Match, Bandcamp, owned by Epic Games, is also involved in a legal battle against Google. Last month, Epic filed a motion for injunctive relief to prevent Google from taking the music store out of its app store for using its own billing system.
On Friday, Band camp announced that it has reached an agreement similar to Match’s with Google, which also allows Bandcamp to remain in the Google Play Store while using its own payment system. The music platform says it will put 10 percent of the proceeds from purchases on Android into an escrow fund until Epic’s broader antitrust lawsuit against Google goes through. Epic launched a similar lawsuit against Apple in 2020 after the company deleted Fortnite of the App Store for using an alternative billing system – the final verdict did not determine a real winner.
Match Group and Epic Games are both members of the Coalition of App Fairness (CAF), a group of companies fighting policies it sees as anticompetitive, including Google and Apple’s rules discouraging developers from using alternative payment processors in their respective app stores. In March, Google announced that Spotify – another CAF member – would become the first platform to test its own payment system (alongside Google’s) in the Play Store.
Google and Apple have come under fire for their app store policies by both developers and government agencies in several countries. In February, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Open App Markets Act, a bill designed to boost competition in mobile computing, while the EU will enforce its own laws to regulate Big Tech by spring 2023. with Apple’s policy for in-app payments, and South Korea has passed legislation requiring both Google and Apple to allow developers to use third-party payment systems in their apps.