Dating App Under Fire: Google's Latest Move in High-Profile Antitrust Battle with Match Group

13 Aug 2023

Dating App Under Fire: Google's Latest Move in High-Profile Antitrust Battle with Match Group Image

In the ever-evolving antitrust battlefront, Google has adopted a new direction with Match Group, the eminent creator of innumerable popular dating apps. Armed with figures and documents from the past year, Google sets out to up the ante, asserting that Match Group owes more than the $40 million it has already set aside in escrow.

These funds, representing Google’s share of Match's in-app payments made through Google Play, were triggered by Match Group's lawsuit alleging Google's anti-competitive monopoly over its mobile app marketplace. The essence of the dispute is whether this commission, which Match deems "illegal under federal and state law," is indeed legal, a question set to be determined in court. Initially, as a part of a conciliatory gesture, Google had agreed to the $40 million sum to be placed in escrow as an alternative to direct fees.

However, a fresh motion recently filed by Google brings forth a revision in the tech titan's stance. Contending that the initial $40 million is gravely inadequate, Google cites evidence from Match Group's own financial disclosures. The motion is particularly focused on a statement in Match Group's Q2 2022 shareholder letter, acknowledging the negative impact of Google's policy change on its operating income.

Crunching these numbers, Google has built up an argument that Match Group actually owes approximately $6 million in fees for each month, totaling to a staggering $84 million over a span of 14 months. The negotiations on these in-app fees are being halted due to the ongoing lawsuit; Google asserts that actual dues have exceeded the available escrow funds.

In conclusion, Google's bold claim has turned the tables and given the ongoing antitrust battle a new dimension. The company says it is determined to recover the full amount it is owed, thereby shifting the narrative of the case. But while it remains to be seen how the court will respond, these developments further underscore the escalating complexities and uncertainties surrounding digital marketplace regulations.