Tinder has sued Google for abuse of dominance

Match Group, the parent company of former sites Tinder and OkCupid, filed a lawsuit against Google on Monday, accusing it of abusing its dominant position on phones, the latest stage in the publisher’s rebellion. application against the Internet giants. technology.

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“Google almost completely dominates and controls the market for the distribution of Android applications”, the mobile operating system of most smartphones in the world, explains Match Group in its press release titled “End the Google Tax” (“End the Google tax”).

“And he abused his power to the detriment of users and app developers in a variety of ways,” continues the group that specializes in dating apps.

Match Group has criticized Google for taking advantage of its dominant position on mobile to impose rules it deems unfair, and it cannot avoid unless it surrenders to the majority of its users.

The company decided to file a complaint due to a recent change in regulations: until now, some of its applications offered an alternative payment system in the Play Store (the platform for downloading apps on Android) .

But that possibility will be lost, lawyers explain in documents filed Monday in California court.

Payment in question

They are asking the court to force Google to let Match offer its alternative for payments on its apps – and thus escape the 15 or 30% commission that Google charges on transactions.

Match Group is “running a self-serving campaign to avoid paying for the significant amount it generates from the mobile platforms on which it generates its business,” a Google spokesperson said.

Affected apps can only pay “15% commission on digital subscriptions, the lowest rate of major platforms,” he said.

“Regulators are scrutinizing Match Group for potentially fraudulent subscription packages. And in this complaint, they continue to put money before protecting users, ”a Google spokesperson said.“ Like any company, our services are paid for, and like any responsible platform, we protect users against fraud. and app abuse, “he added.

If justice does not intervene, and if “Match Group does not comply with Google’s policy change, Google has clarified that it will remove the Match apps from Google Play”, Match’s attorneys will worry about ending the complaint.

They accuse Google of “threatening to sentence Match Group to death, a threat” “carried out against another developer, Epic Games”.

In this case, “more than one billion users of Android devices worldwide will no longer have access to Match Group apps,” they detail.

Google already allows users to download an application without going through its store, but the latter remains the preferred method for most of them.

Video game publisher Epic Games (Fortnite) was involved in a legal dispute against Google and Apple in the summer of 2020 for reasons similar to those mentioned by Match.

In November, a U.S. federal judge ordered Apple to allow an alternative payment system within the App Store, but also ruled that Epic failed to prove that Apple violated antitrust law. .

South Korea fined Google in September nearly $ 180 million for abusing its dominant position in the mobile app market.

The country’s Parliament also passed legislation requiring operators of smartphone operating systems, mainly Google and Apple, to allow application publishers to offer alternative payment systems.

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