Sep 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

Match CEO calls Apple's policies "inconsistent and unfair"

Match Group CEO Shar Dubey stepped up her criticism of Apple's App Store policies in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired Monday, saying the way that the company applies its policies is "inconsistent and unfair" and takes choices away from consumers.

What happened: In the interview, Dubey said the App Store relationship, wherein the company controls billing and subscriptions, had been "a great source of dissatisfaction."

  • Match, the parent company of Tinder, OKCupid and other dating apps and sites, previously issued a statement criticizing Apple's 30% take on App Store purchases.

Why it matters: The latest comments follow increasing scrutiny over Apple's business practices and the way it operates the App Store, including an antitrust investigation by the European Union and a legal battle with "Fortnite" maker Epic Games

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said Apple "deserves scrutiny" for the way it has operated the App Store.

What she's saying: Dubey argues that Apple has been "unclear" on why Match and other digital goods and services must give control over billing matters to Apple — and pay a hefty fee — when apps like Uber perform similar functions of connecting two parties for business and are not subject to the same conditions.

  • "This has been a great source of dissatisfaction for a number of our customers because we cannot really help them when they have issues around subscription and billing."
  • "All we are able to do is send them to Apple and we have no transparency on how they service or, you know, treat these issues with our customers. And so that is our contention that there should be a choice. There should be a consumer choice."

What's next: Dubey says Match is currently hoping to resolve the issue with Apple through "direct conversations" but has not ruled out the possibility of taking legal action.

Of note: The CEO also made her first comments on the Department of Justice investigation into an FTC lawsuit alleging that the company knowingly sent automated advertisements with expressions of interest from accounts it knew were likely fake to draw in potential subscribers.

  • "It is not a practice we've ever done, we would ever do. It's not good for business," she said.

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