Google files counterclaim to Match’s antitrust lawsuit, says Match wants to use its services for free – TechCrunch

Google has responded to dating app maker Match Group’s antitrust lawsuit in a damning new court filing that references it Matches original complaint as a “cynical attempt” to use Google Play’s distribution platform and other tools while attempting to circumvent Google’s fees.

The two tech giants later fell out in court Match is suing Google May for its alleged monopoly on payments for Android apps.

Match — which operates dating apps like Tinder, Match, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Hinge, and others — claims Google has too much control over Google Play’s app marketplace and uses anti-competitive tactics to keep its ecosystem in check . The app maker is one of many larger publishers, along with Epic Games and Spotify, looking for relief from Google’s service fees. Epic Games is also suing both of them Apple and Google. Companies largely want to offer their own in-app payment systems, rather than having to use Google’s own payment infrastructure, and avoid the commissions associated with distributing their apps through the Google Play Store and App Store.

Earlier this year, Google and Match came to a temporary compromise about how they would proceed while the litigation was ongoing. Match said Google pledged that it would not ban or block its dating apps from Google Play for offering alternative payments, and that Match would put up to $40 million in escrow in lieu of paying Google’s fees, until the judge determines the outcome of the case.

Now, Google has filed its counterclaim in this ongoing lawsuit, arguing that Match misleads the court by claiming that Google simply charges payment processing fees for the apps distributed on its platform.

Writes Google:

While Match Group claims that Google Play only offers payment processing, that’s simply not true. Google Play provides tools and a global distribution platform that has enabled Match Group to thrive and build a prosperous user network that is critical to its dating apps. Match Group is now trying to access the global distribution platform and users of Google Play for free, leveraging Google’s significant investment in the platform.

Google continues to tout the discoverability enabled by the Play Store and the tools it provides to developers, including the free software that allows developers to build apps, its testing and monitoring tools, and its digital infrastructure payments. Also, Google argues that its 15% fee for Match Group subscriptions is “half that” of other major platforms — a reference that appears to point to Apple, but is misleading given that both platforms collect commissions in the second year of an app from Reduce 30% to 15%.

The answer also points out that there are other ways to sideload apps on Android phones, unlike iOS which restricts sideloading.

Google also hits a few key blows — for example, noting that a senior vice president of Match Group once admitted that Match’s real problem with Google Play’s billing system “is the ease with which users can cancel their subscriptions.” , using Google tools.

This particular allegation is reminiscent of a previous lawsuit against Match that was filed by state regulators. In 2019, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Match sued for fraud. Among other things, it said the company was making it harder for consumers to cancel their subscriptions and would use tricks to make consumers think they stopped charging when in fact they hadn’t. (Most of the claims in this lawsuit were released earlier this yearhowever based on the legal position of the case as opposed to a judgment as to the complaints themselves.)

Google also references the FTC’s lawsuit in its new filing, adding that Match executives have acknowledged that the cancellation process is “hard to find, lengthy and confusing.” Unfortunately, the quote from a match group manager has been redacted in the file.

Google is seeking a jury trial and monetary compensation in connection with Match Group’s breach of contract. It is also seeking a ruling that would permanently ban Match Group from the Google Play Store.

The lawsuit is being heard in the US District Court, Northern District of California. News of the filing was first reported by Bloomberg.

In a statement, Google said: “Match Group has entered into an agreement with us and this lawsuit seeks to hold Match until the end of the agreement – we look forward to making our case.” In the meantime, we will continue to defend ourselves against Match’s unsubstantiated claims.”

Match was also contacted for comment.

Google files counterclaim to Match’s antitrust lawsuit, says Match wants to use its services for free – TechCrunch Source link Google files counterclaim to Match’s antitrust lawsuit, says Match wants to use its services for free – TechCrunch

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