Tinder-owner Match says Google to allow alternate payment systems for now


FILE PHOTO: Match Group logo and their app brands are seen in this illustration taken, May 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -Match Group Inc said on Friday that Alphabet Inc's Google will temporarily allow the dating apps maker to offer users a choice in payment systems.

Match sued Google earlier in May, calling the action a "last resort" to prevent Tinder and its other apps from being booted off the Google Play store for refusing to share up to 30% of sales.

The date for the trial is currently set for April 2023.

The company said on Friday it has withdrawn its request for a temporary restraining order against Google after it made a number of concessions that would prevent Match's apps from being removed from the Play store for offering alternate payment options.

Match will have to continue to integrate Google Play billing through the trial or until the dispute is settled, Google said.

Match's lawsuit came against the backdrop of ongoing cases brought by "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, dozens of U.S. state attorneys general and others in targeting Google's allegedly anticompetitive conduct related to the Play store.

Google had said it will block downloads of some of Match's apps by June 1 unless they solely offered Google's payment system and shared revenue, the lawsuit stated.

The majority of users on Match's most popular app, Tinder, prefer its payment system, which allows for installment plans, bank transfers and other features not provided by Google, according to the lawsuit.

Match said on Friday it plans to put up to $40 million into an escrow account, instead of paying Google directly for billing transactions on the Android operating system outside of Google Play store billing, as part of the temporary agreement.

Match has raised concerns over Apple Inc's App Store fees and payments policies as well.

Apple has also been criticized for building its App Store into a "walled garden" meant to extract fees from developers who want to access users on the iOS ecosystem.

Google and Apple charge developers hefty commissions and impose controls on software developers, forcing them to pay a sum when the in-app payment systems are used.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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