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Match sues Google for abuse of dominant position



(San Francisco) Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and OkCupid, sued Google on Monday, accusing it of abuse of dominance in phones, the latest episode in app publishers’ rebellion against the giants. technologies.

“Google dominates and almost completely controls the application distribution market on Android”, the mobile operating system of the overwhelming majority of smartphones in the world, explains Match Group in its press release entitled “End the Google Tax” ( “Ending the Google Tax”).

“And he abused his power to the detriment of users and app developers in various ways,” continues the group specializing in dating apps.

Match Group criticizes Google for taking advantage of its dominant position on mobiles to impose rules that it considers unfair, and that it cannot circumvent unless it gives up on the majority of its users.

The company decided to file a complaint because of a recent change in the regulations: until now, some of its applications offered an alternative payment system to that of the Play Store (the platform for downloading apps on Android).

But that possibility will disappear, explain the lawyers in documents filed Monday with a Californian court.

They are asking the court to force Google to let Match offer its alternative for payments in its apps – and thus escape the 15 or 30% commission charged by Google on transactions.

If justice does not intervene, and if “Match Group does not comply with Google’s policy change, Google has made it clear that it will remove Match’s apps from Google Play”, the lawyers worry at the end of the complaint.

They accuse Google of “threatening to sentence Match Group to death, a threat they carried out against another developer, Epic Games”.

In this case, “more than a billion users of Android devices worldwide could no longer have access to Match Group’s apps”, they detail.

The video game publisher Epic Games (Fortnite), engaged in a legal tussle against Google and Apple in the summer of 2020 for similar reasons. In November, a US federal judge ordered Apple to allow an alternative payment system within the App Store, but also ruled that Epic had failed to prove that Apple had violated antitrust law. .

South Korea fined Google last September nearly $180 million for abusing its dominant position in the mobile app market.

Google did not react immediately to a request from AFP.

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