July 5, 2022

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Google Lets Tinder Parent Match Use Own Payment Method in Compromise

What’s happening

Tinder-parent Match Group have come to an agreement with Google to allow its apps to remain on the Play Store while not using Play Store Billing for in-app transactions.

Why it matters

This agreement is not permanent but does show Google being more amenable to app developer demands.

What’s next

A trial will take place next April and would determine if app developers can use alternative payment methods and avoid paying Google royalties for transactions.

Match Group struck an agreement Friday with Google that allows Match’s popular Tinder and Hinge dating apps to remain on the Google Play Store while using alternatives to the search giant’s payment system.

The agreement will let users of Match apps select the payment system of their choosing rather than be required to use Google Play Billing, the app store’s homegrown system, Match said in a statement. Match said it would work with Google to fix “deficiencies of Google Play Billing,” including the absence of an installment payment function and the ability to bundle some features together.

The agreement allowed Match to drop a request for a temporary restraining order that would’ve prevented Google from removing Match’s apps from the Play Store. Earlier this month in a lawsuit, Match accused Google of forcing it to use Google Play’s billing system and pay royalties as a result. Match also cited data privacy as a concern, arguing that using Google Play Billing gives the search giant additional data on users that could be sold. Match says it doesn’t sell personal user data. 

The two companies will still square off in court over the use of external billing options. A trial is set for April 2023. 

Match declined to comment beyond its statement. Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The agreement between Match and Google comes amid a series of legal battles between app developers and the Google Play Store. Epic Games, which created the popular Fortnite game, sued Google, as well as Apple, in 2020 because the platforms wouldn’t let it use its internal billing system for in-game purchases. Google and Epic Games have agreed to a trial in early 2023. Apple won nine out of 10 counts against Epic last year. The game maker has appealed the ruling. 

Recently, Google allowed Spotify to offer its own payment option alongside Play Billing.