Match Group, which owns dating services like Tinder and OkCupid, sued Google on Monday, claiming it broke antitrust laws with rules it set for its smartphone app store.
Google has harnessed the monopoly power over app distribution for its Android smartphone software to limit apps’ ability to charge consumers for in-app products using their own payment systems, Match Group said in its lawsuit. Instead, Google is forcing developers to use its system if they want to access the Google Play app store, which requires a reduction in in-app purchases, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, is the latest salvo in a long struggle with app developers on the one hand and Google and Apple on the other. The tech giants largely run the stores through which developers reach smartphone users and have been able to earn revenue from in-app purchases.
This frustrates the developers, who claim that Google and Apple are essentially imposing a tax on their sales. The developers have reached out to governments around the world to ask for the practice to be regulated. Some, including South Korea, have already done so; Congress is considering proposals to do the same.
Both Google and Apple have changed their practices in recent months to address some of the concerns, including proposing lower fees on in-app purchases. But the developers said those changes don’t go far enough.