Match Group doesn’t have to use Google Play billing, for now

At the top of May, Match Group, the firm behind dating apps such as Tinder and Match filed a lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit was filed to prevent Google from forcing Match Group to use Google Play Billing for payments.

In addition, the firm filed a temporary restraining order in order to prevent Google from booting it from the Google Play Store. At the weekend, Match Group withdrew its temporary restraining order after Google agreed to some concessions.

“Those include guaranteeing that Match Group apps will still be allowed to offer users choice in payment systems, lessening the undue burden on developers by its previously stated policy, and eliminating Google’s complete control over user data,” Match Group explained.

According to the firm, Google has agreed to the following concessions:

  • Match Group apps will not be rejected or removed from the Google Play Store because they offer alternative billing options.
  • Google will approve Match Group app updates that offer payment alternatives
  • Google will work to fix the deficiencies in its Google Play Billing offer

While this is good news for Match Group, it isn’t out of the woods yet and it appears to be aware of this. This is because Match Group is setting aside $40 million in an escrow account. That figure is what the firm says it would have paid Google for Android transactions that occur outside of the Google Play Billing system. Match Group may be holding on to that money but it’s still not pleased about how Google Play operates.

“No other app or product in Google Play currently pays Google for transactions that occur outside of Google Play Billing. But, because of Google’s complete monopoly control over the Android app distribution ecosystem, Match Group has agreed to hold funds in escrow and maintain the status quo of Match Group apps in the Google Play Store, until the Court hears and adjudicates the claims filed against Google on May 9 for violating federal and California antitrust laws. Both Match Group and Google can terminate this agreement, but Match Group retains the option to reinstate its request for a TRO if that should happen. The date for the trial is currently set for April 2023,” the firm added.

The Google Play Store Payments policy is set to change in June and while Google and Match appear to be playing nice for now, as the firm points out, the agreement could be terminated at any time between now and April 2023.

Don’t expect this to be the last time these two firms bump heads.


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