Tinder Owner Match Group, Google Reach Deal on App Store Payment Rules

Match

MTCH 0.91%

Group Inc. withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order against

Alphabet Inc.’s

GOOG -2.69%

Google, saying Google has made some concessions over its app store payment practices that Match Group demanded.

The concessions include guaranteeing that Match apps, such as Tinder and Hinge, won’t be rejected or removed from Google’s app store for offering alternatives to Google’s billing system, Match said Friday.

Match said Google has also agreed to fix certain deficiencies in its billing systems, and Match will test the system on its apps, alongside current payment systems.

Google still plans to challenge claims that Match made earlier this month in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit argued that the fees Google demands for payments that occur outside of Google’s billing system are illegal.

“We plan to rebut Match’s unfounded complaint and will be countersuing to ensure that all developers honor their obligations and keep Google Play as a trusted destination for consumers,” a Google spokesman said Friday.

Match said it is putting up to $40 million into an escrow account instead of paying Google directly for billing transactions that occur on the Android system outside of Google Play Billing. The Google spokesman said those funds are a reserve against damages.

Match said it has agreed to hold the funds in escrow until a court hears and adjudicates the claims it filed against Google. The trial is set for April 2023, Match said.

Match and Google can terminate their new agreement, but Match retains the option to reinstate its request for a temporary restraining order if that happens, Match said.

Google and rival Apple Inc. have faced lawsuits and regulatory probes in multiple countries around their requirements that apps listed on their app marketplaces use in-house payment systems that take cuts of up to 30% of in-app sales in most cases.

Earlier this year, Spotify Technology SA reached an agreement with Google to offer an alternative payment method within its app for users. Google said at the time that Spotify was the first of a small number of developers to participate in a pilot program allowing alternative billing.

Apple and Google have one of Silicon Valley’s most famous rivalries, but behind the scenes they maintain a deal worth $8 billion to $12 billion a year according to a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit. Here’s how they came to depend on each other. Photo illustration: Jaden Urbi

Write to Will Feuer at [email protected]

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