What you need to know
- Google and Match Group have officially settled the antitrust case over Play Store practices.
- Match Group states it will adopt “user choice billing” by March 31, 2024, giving users the option to choose their own billing or Google’s.
- Epic Games’ CEO Time Sweeney states the company will proceed with its court case against Google and its “control” over developers in the Play Store with severe fees.
As Google continues to progress through its antitrust case regarding the Play Store, at least one aspect of it has reached its finality.
According to TechCrunch, Google and the Match Group (owner of Tinder) have reached an agreement, formally ending the legal court case. The details indicate t that Match Group is not allowed to offer customers its form of payment (billing system) only. The company must feature the Google Play billing system alongside it, giving users a choice of which they’d prefer.
The new “user choice billing” for Match will have to go into effect on the Play Store by March 31, 2024, at the latest. After both parties agreed, Match added it would also reduce its commission payments from 15% and 30% to 11% and 20%, respectively. This comes as the true conclusion to Google’s earlier concession to Match, allowing it to bypass the Play Store’s billing system as the company refused to share a portion of its sales due to the store’s substantial developer fee.
With one side settled, Google still isn’t done, as its antitrust woes continue with Fortnite creator Epic Games. The company’s CEO, Time Sweeney, took to X to say that “Match and Google have settled their dispute. Epic will go to trial against Google alone.”
Sweeney added that Epic refuses to accept Google’s “user choice billing” as Google “controls, surveils, and taxes transactions between users and developers.”
Match and Google have settled their dispute.Epic will go to trial against Google alone.We reject Google’s so-called “user choice billing”, in which Google controls, surveils, and taxes transactions between users and developers.https://t.co/bTh095KNa2October 31, 2023
It’s worth remembering that this antitrust lawsuit (Match group included) was brought about due to the Google Play Store’s imposing 30% fee on game developers (and others) such as Epic. The gaming company had offered a way for customers to purchase V-Bucks, its in-game currency, through its own means rather than going through Google’s custom channels. This resulted in the removal of the game from the store due to its “violation” of store guidelines.
Epic then brought up the severe “disadvantages” games and apps face when trying to push their apps through other areas rather than going through Google. It was said that developers either face terrible fees or experience technical and business measures that more often than not scare away potential gamers and users.
We’re not far from seeing how things shake down between the Epic Games vs. Google court case as things are set to take place on November 6.