Another epic-style legal era in the works
Earlier this month, Match Group, the company behind dating services Match, Hinge, Tinder and OKCupid, filed a lawsuit against Google, joining numerous other app makers alleging the company abuses monopoly power by forcing them to use the Play Store billing program. — and agree to share up to 30% of their income — in order to be referenced on the platform. This week marked a temporary settlement between the parties, but that can only set up a pattern of waiting before a trial.
The antitrust complaint (obtained by court auditorGoing through The edge) details Match’s numerous communications with Google about whether it could use its own billing program, which the group says is “better for consumers and Match Group” (no, duh) by allowing direct debit options among other features, as opposed to the Play Store which does not. He notes that other app publishers – the head of Epic Games among them and similar actions from Bandcamp – have clashed with Google over payments and that its ongoing pilot program exempting certain publishers from Play Billing shows that the company “plays favorites.”
Match followed up the suit by seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Google from removing its apps from the Play Store and forcing them to use Play Billing exclusively. This week, companies have settled (court auditor), binding Google to these terms and guaranteeing that it develops “Match-material” billing features. Match, on the other hand, will have to prepare a $40 million escrow and account for Google’s potential share of revenue generated on its own billing system. The fate of this money will be determined pending further judgment or settlement. All Match apps will also need to adopt Play Billing in addition to Match’s internal system. In dueling press releases, Declared match that Google made major concessions with the co-op agreement to expand its billing features while google said that he will be suing Match for breaching his Developer Distribution Agreement.
A trial is scheduled for April 2023.
Court rules Bandcamp can continue to use its current in-app payment system while Epic’s legal battle with Google continues