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Tinder sues Google for 'illegally monopolising the market'

This Tuesday, July 28, 2020 photo shows the icon for the Tinder dating app on a device in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

This Tuesday, July 28, 2020 photo shows the icon for the Tinder dating app on a device in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

Published May 12, 2022

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Tinder is suing Google for “monopolising the market”.

Match Group - the company behind dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid and Match - are taking Android owner Google to court for forcing smartphone users to pay via their in-house billing system and then taking a cut of the payments.

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The complaint read: “Google monetises Android, in part, by operating Google Play and a separate in-app payment processing service called Google Play Billing.

“Over the last decade, through bait and switch tactics that exploited the very app developers it so ardently courted and claimed to support and by paying off potential competitors not to compete, Google has grown Google Play into the only viable Android app marketplace and if a developer wants users to find its app, that app must be on Google Play.

“But that was not enough for Google. It also wanted to control the much more lucrative in-app payment processing market on Android. Every year, consumers spend tens of billions of dollars on Android apps. And that number increases every year. When those transactions involve the purchase of “digital goods or services" using Google Play Billing, Google keeps as much as 30% for itself.”

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The company went on to allege that the search engine giant had “lured” developers in with false assurances and they now feel as if they are being “held hostage”.

Match said in a statement: “Google lured app developers to its platform with assurances that we 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 coattails of the most popular app developers, Google sought to ban alternative in-app payment processing services so it could take a cut of nearly every in-app transaction on Android. Ten years ago, the Match group was Google's partner. Now, we are its hostage.”

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Meanwhile, Google spokesperson Dan Jackson said in a statement that it was simply Match's way of continuing their "campaign" to avoid payment and blasted the dating app creator over alleged “regulatory concerns”.

“This is just a continuation of Match Group’s self-interested campaign to avoid paying for the significant value they receive from the mobile platforms they’ve built their business on,” he said.

“Like any business, we charge for our services, and like any responsible platform, we protect users against fraud and abuse in apps. Match Group is currently attracting regulator concerns over things like deceptive subscription practices, and with this filing they continue to put money ahead of user protection.”

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