Google parent Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL GOOG is being drawn into a legal battle over its app store rules.
What Happened: Match Group, Inc. MTCH, parent of online dating apps such as Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid, has taken up cudgels against Google for what it called "strategic manipulation of markets" and "abuse of power" for stifling competition in the mobile device ecosystem, a filing with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California showed.
Google, according to the complaint, has monopolized the market for distributing apps on Android devices with its Google Play Store. The search giant is now striving to eliminate user choice of payment services and raise prices, extending its dominance to the separate market for in-app payment processors on Android, it has been alleged.
"It is conditioning app availability on Google Play with exclusive use of its own in-app payment processing product, Google Play Billing, where it can charge supra-competitive prices and monetize the personal data of billions of digital app users," Match said in the complaint.
This allows Google to impose a 15-30% tax on billions of dollars users spend on digital goods and services on Android phones, the company added.
Why It's Important: Both Google and Apple, Inc. AAPL have come under increasing regulatory scrutiny over their in-app payment practices. The U.S. regulators are working on passing legislation called the "Open App Markets Act;" if implemented, developers would be able to use their own billing systems and challenge purported instances of anti-competitive behavior of Big Tech companies.
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