Google and Match Group reach temporary agreement on in-app payments | Engadget

Google and Match Group reach temporary agreement on in-app payments | Engadget

Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and Hinge, claims it has won “concessions” from Google in its antitrust battle against the search giant. On Friday, Match withdrew a restraining order after the two sides came to a temporary agreement on in-app payments.

Match filed the order against Google one day after it sued the company, alleging it had broken federal and state antitrust laws. At the center of the dispute is a policy change Google plans to implement next month. In the fall of 2020, the company “clarified” its stance on in-app payments, announcing it was moving toward requiring all Android developers to process payments involving “digital goods and services” through the Google Play Billing system. Following multiple extensions, developers have until June 1st to comply with the policy.

Match, however, claims Google had “previously assured” the company that it could use its own payments system. The company also claims Google threatened to remove its apps from the Play Store if Match did not comply with the policy change by the upcoming deadline.

Under their temporary agreement, Google will allow Match apps to remain on the Play Store and won’t remove them for including alternate payment systems. Additionally, the search giant has agreed to make a “good faith” effort to address Match’s concerns with Google Play Billing. Match, in turn, will make an effort to offer Google’s billing system as an option to consumers.

Lastly, instead of paying Google a commission on in-app purchases that occur outside of the company’s payment system, Match is establishing a $40 million escrow fund. Starting July 1st, Match will keep track of fees it would have normally owed Google. The fund will stay in place until the two sides go to court next April.

Following Match’s announcement, Google accused the company of publishing a “misleading” press release that “mischaracterizes” the terms of their agreement. « Match Group’s claim that it can’t integrate Play’s billing system because it lacks key features contradicts the fact that Match Group has been proactively and successfully using Play’s billing in more than 10 of its apps, » Google said. The company added it would file a countersuit against Match for violating its Developer Distribution Agreement ahead of their 2023 trial.

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