“Google lured app developers to its platform with the assurance that we could offer users a choice of how to pay for the services they want,” Match Group lawyers wrote in the filed lawsuit. Monday in federal court for the Northern District of California. “Now Google is seeking to eliminate user choice in payment services and raise prices for consumers by expanding its dominance.”
The fight over app stores and payments has been at the heart of the fight over whether big tech companies like Google and Apple are unfairly weaponizing the power they have amassed over the past two decades. App developers such as Match Group, whose business relies on Apple and Google’s app stores, say they shouldn’t have to pay high fees to companies on sales made through their apps . Apple and Google argue that the fee is a fair payment to maintain the market and prevent apps from being attacked by hackers.
Apple cuts some App Store fees, but critics call it a ploy to avoid regulation
Both companies recently cut their fees, in some cases after years of opposition and lawsuits. Google used to charge 30% for the first year of a subscription purchased through an app, but it dropped to 15% in 2021. Google has also reached an agreement in March with Spotify, which makes the majority of its money from subscriptions to its app, which allows the music streaming app to use its own payment processor alongside Google. A Match spokesperson said Google refused to allow him into the program. Google said it plans to expand the program over time.
Match’s lawsuit is an effort to avoid paying for the system that allowed him to grow his business in the first place, said Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman. “Like any business, we charge for our services,” he said, “and like any responsible platform, we protect users against fraud and abuse in apps.”
The most high-profile opposition to the App Store payment model came from Epic Games, which sued Apple and Google over App Store charges. In September, a judge ruled mostly in favor of Apple, saying Epic had failed to prove the company was a monopoly, while ordering Apple to end its practice of banning apps. Direct customers to payment options outside of the app. The Epic vs. Google case will go to trial in 2023.