Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and Hinge, claims it has won “concessions” from Google in its antitrust battle against the search giant. On Friday, Match withdrew a restraining order after the two sides reached a temporary agreement on in-app payments.
Match filed the injunction against Google a day after it sued the company for violating federal and state antitrust laws. At the heart of the dispute is a policy change that Google plans to implement next month. In late 2020, the company “clarified” its stance on in-app payments, announcing that it would require all Android developers to process payments containing “digital goods and services” through the Google Play billing system. After multiple extensions, developers have until June 1 to comply with the policy.
However, Match claims that Google “previously assured” the company that it could use its own payment system. The company also claims that Google has threatened to remove its apps from the Play Store if Match does not comply with the policy change by the upcoming deadline.
Under their temporary agreement, Google allows Match apps to remain in the Play Store and will not remove them because they contain alternative payment systems. In addition, the search giant has agreed to use “good faith” efforts to allay the concerns of Match with Google Play Billing. Match, in turn, will make an effort to offer Google’s billing system as an option to consumers.
Finally, instead of paying Google a commission for in-app purchases that take place outside of the company’s payment system, Match sets up a $40 million escrow fund. As of July 1, Match will track the fees it would normally owe to Google. The fund will remain in place until both parties go to court in April.
After Match’s announcement, Google accused the company of publishing a “misleading” press release that “mischaracterizes” the terms of their agreement. “Match Group’s claim that it cannot integrate Play’s billing system because it lacks key features contradicts the fact that Match Group has proactively and successfully used Play’s billing in more than 10 of its apps,” it said. google. The company added that it would file a counterclaim against Match for violating the Developer Distribution Agreement ahead of their 2023 trial.
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