The suit by Matching group (MTCH) is the latest antitrust complaint to hit Google (GOOG) after years of scrutiny of its business practices. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Google not only has a monopoly on the distribution of Android apps, but also requires app makers to agree to contractual language that require the use of information from Google. app payment technology and requires them to pay a fee to Google.
“These exorbitant ‘fees’ force developers to charge users more for their services and use up resources they would otherwise invest in our people, technologies, and user-requested features,” Match Group said in its announcement. “Furthermore, monopolizing the in-app payments market will further solidify Google’s near total control over the Android ecosystem.”
In a statement, Match Group CEO Shar Dubey described the complaint as a “last resort”, adding that Google has informed Match that its apps will be removed from the Google Play Store in early June unless Match agrees. compliant with a rule introduced in 2020 requiring apps to exclusively use Google’s in-app payment processing.
“By insisting on the exclusive use of Google Play Billing, Google seeks to insert itself as an intermediary between users and developers, preventing Match Group from serving its customers directly on many important issues,” the company said. , arguing that Google “left us with no choice but to take legal action.”
In response, Google said in a blog post on Monday that Match Group was simply trying not to pay for services provided by Google as part of its platform.
The vast majority of apps on Google’s App Store pay no fees, Google said, and Match Group’s apps are among the 3% of its platform that do. Additionally, Google added, Match has had “enough time” to adapt to the changes announced by Google in 2020.
“As a platform, we always seek to work in good faith with partners to grow and evolve the ecosystem, but we will stand firm against false attacks against our business, especially when it puts users at risk and jeopardizes our ability to continue investing in and serving our developer community,” wrote Wilson White, vice president of government affairs and public policy at Google.
Match Group’s lawsuit echoes that of Epic Games, the creator of “Fortnite,” which sued Apple and Google over similar allegations. Last year, a federal judge ruled largely in favor of Apple and against Epic, though his decision is on appeal.
Big tech companies including Apple and Google have cut some of the app store fees they charge in recent years, amid growing complaints from app developers and policymakers. This year, for example, Google reduced its fees on in-app subscriptions from 30% to 15%. In 2020, Apple announced a new program for small developers that reduces their commissions to 15%.