Google counter-suit could get Tinder booted from the Play Store

Digital storefronts such as the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store are convenient for users and offer developers a trusted platform for distribution. Of course for developers, it’s not all sunshine and lilies.

These digital storefronts demand a fee for every purchase made and over the last few years this practice has started to see some push back. Now however, that push back could hurt a developer.

Match Group, the company behind dating apps including Tinder, recently fired a shot at the bow of Google’s Play Store by way of a lawsuit. While this helped Match Group avoid using Google’s payment systems exclusively, that lawsuit may have caused more harm than it helped.

According to a report from Engadget, Google has now counter-sued Match Group. The internet colossus denies almost every paragraph in Match’s lawsuit and claims that Match Group now wants to pay nothing at all. Google is suing for monetary damages as well as seeking a judgement that could see Tinder and other Match Group apps kicked from the Play Store.

“By choosing to make its apps available through Google Play, Match Group has ready access to billions of users and potential users of its apps and has earned hundreds of millions of dollars as a result. Yet Match Group wants more. It now attempts to ignore the terms to which it expressly agreed and further enrich itself by contending it should pay nothing at all to Google. Not only would that deprive Google of any consideration for the immense investment in Android and the direct benefits it provides Match Group through the Google Play store, it would also place Match Group in an advantaged position relative to other app developers who honor their agreements and compensate Google in good faith for the benefits they receive,” reads the counter-lawsuit.

The problem with this statement is that no developer wants to share 15 to 30 percent of purchases with a storefront and while developers pay this fee regardless, it’s very much a grudge purchase. Another issue is the fact that the likes of Google and Apple don’t allow developers to use their own systems. All developers want is the choice to use a storefront’s payment systems or its own.

As for Match Group, it doesn’t see this counter-suit as anything more than a deflection.

“Google doesn’t want anyone else to sue them so their counterclaims are designed as a warning shot,” Match Group told Bloomberg. “We are confident that our suit, alongside other developers, the US Department of Justice and 37 state attorneys general making similar claims, will be resolved in our favor early next year.”

Let’s see how this plays out in court.


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