Google And Match Group Resolve Antitrust Case With Settlement Agreement


A New Milestone in the Battle Against Tech Giants

In a significant development in the ongoing antitrust battle, Google and Match Group have announced a settlement in their dispute. The lawsuit filed by Match Group against Google has been closely watched, especially in light of similar cases brought by other companies like Epic Games. While the court case with Epic Games continues, the settlement with Match Group marks a step forward in the fight against the dominance of tech giants in the app store ecosystem.

Key Takeaway

Google and Match Group have reached a settlement in the app store antitrust case. This settlement allows Match Group to implement “user choice billing” by March 31, 2024, enabling users to pay through systems other than Google’s own.

A Win for User Choice Billing

As part of the settlement agreement, Match Group, the owner of popular dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, will have the freedom to implement “user choice billing” by the specified date. This feature allows users to make payments using alternative payment systems, instead of being restricted to Google’s own billing system. The introduction of user choice billing aims to provide users with more options and increase competition within the app store ecosystem.

Spotify and Bumble Among Early Testers

Spotify and Bumble were among the initial testers for the user choice billing system, which was introduced in November 2022. Following successful trials, Spotify’s third-party billing option has been rolled out globally as Google expanded user choice billing to more countries outside the United States. While this program offers a discount on Google’s commission, it does not eliminate the commission entirely. However, it does offer developers a reduced percentage compared to the standard rates.

Match Group’s Billing System Alongside Google Play

Under the settlement agreement, Match Group will not only offer its own billing system but will also continue to provide Google Play billing as an option for users. This move will provide users with the freedom to choose their preferred payment method. The settlement includes a provision for continued collaboration between Google and Match Group in areas such as Google Cloud and the use of Google’s AI technologies, ensuring a positive relationship between the two companies beyond the lawsuit.

The Importance of Commission Structure

Google has long defended its commission structure, stating that it supports the entire app ecosystem by funding various services and resources necessary for app development and distribution. However, larger companies like Match and Epic Games argue that they have the capability to handle their own payments and customer relationships. They believe that Google’s restrictions on direct relationships with paying customers are anti-competitive practices.

“We are pleased to reach a settlement agreement with Match Group,” said a Google spokesperson. “This ensures we can continue to provide our shared users with the secure, seamless, and high-quality experience people expect from apps on Google Play while maintaining Google’s ability to invest in the Android ecosystem,” they added.

The Future of Antitrust Cases

The settlement between Google and Match Group sets an important precedent in the ongoing app store antitrust battles. It remains to be seen whether this settlement will lead to a resolution between Epic Games and Google, as the trial between the two is set to begin next week. The outcome of these cases will have far-reaching implications for the app store ecosystem and the relationship between tech giants and developers.

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