May 9, 2022 - Technology

Match Group sues Google over payment policies

Illustration of the Google "G" logo turning into a stop sign.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Match Group sued Google in federal court Monday, charging that the tech giant unfairly forces apps to use its payment system, the dating app company announced.

Driving the news: Match is alleging Google violated federal and state antitrust law by requiring certain app developers "to exclusively use Google Play Billing to process payments."

  • Match argues that Google had previously said its app could use Match's own in-app payment systems for purchases. Now, all apps that sell "digital goods and services" must switch to use Google Play Billing exclusively by June 1, a policy change that Match refers to as a "bait and switch."

Why it matters: Match's lawsuit escalates smaller developers' rebellion against the Google and Apple app stores, as proposed legislation in many countries aims to rein then in.

What they're saying: "By insisting on exclusive use of Google Play Billing, Google seeks to insert itself as a middleman between users and developers, preventing Match Group from directly servicing its customers on many important issues," Match Group writes in its announcement.

  • "If Google is allowed to enforce this mandate, Match Group would suffer irreparable damage to its customer relationships, reputation, business performance, and goodwill and its users will be harmed by increased prices and Google’s monetization of their data."

The other side: “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," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

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