Online dating service company Match Group hit Google with an antitrust suit in California federal court Monday, the latest complaint in a series of lawsuits by developers accusing the tech giant of dominating the app distribution market by charging “extortionate” in-app fees.
In a 91-page complaint, Dallas-based Match Group LLC and its subsidiaries accuse Google and its affiliates of using anti-competitive “bait and switch” tactics to keep developers creating apps for its Android operating system. The suit claims Google lured developers in by allowing them to choose which in-app payment services to use, but then abruptly banning all app-store competitors in September and forcing all developers to use Google Play Billing, which charges up to 30% in fees on in-app transactions.
“Ten years ago, Match Group was Google’s partner,” the lawsuit says. “We are now its hostage.”
The suit claims Google has promoted Android as being an “open” ecosystem, but over time it’s forced app developers such as Match to agree to collusive one-sided agreements that require them to distribute their apps through the Google Play Store using the Google Play Billing service.
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