Match drops out of Google Play antitrust showdown

An illustration of the Google logo.
Illustration: The Verge

Match Group and Google announced a settlement on Tuesday in Match’s lawsuit against the company. The last-minute decision leaves Google scheduled to go up against Fortnite publisher Epic Games alone in an antitrust trial that starts next week, with Epic alleging that Google Play’s payment policies are anticompetitive.

Match sued Google in May 2022, alleging the company “illegally monopolized the market” for app distribution with Google Play and imposed an “extortionate tax” with the fees it takes from transactions on the marketplace. Its claims dovetailed with an existing complaint from Epic as well as a coalition of state attorneys general. Google and the states announced their own settlement in September.

Under the terms of this latest settlement, $40 million in escrow will be returned to Match, according to Match’s Q3 2023 letter to shareholders. By March 31st, 2024, Match’s apps will implement Google’s user choice billing system, meaning Match will give Google an 11 percent cut of subscriptions and a 26 percent cut of purchases made using Match’s own payment systems or will owe Google its standard fees for transactions that use Google’s in-app purchase system. The parties also filed a voluntary notice for dismissal of the suit.

“We are pleased to reach a settlement agreement with Match Group,” Google spokesperson Danielle Cohen says in a statement to The Verge. “This ensures we can continue to provide our shared users 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 and deliver value across an app’s full lifecycle.”

On X, formerly Twitter, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that his company “will go to trial against Google alone” and that “we reject Google’s so-called ‘user choice billing,’ in which Google controls, surveils, and taxes transactions between users and developers.”

Match and the Coalition for App Fairness, an organization it spearheaded alongside Epic, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Source: The Verge Match drops out of Google Play antitrust showdown