Tinder Owner Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple In India

Tinder Owner Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple In India
Photo: unsplash.com 25.08.2022 116

Apple is leveraging its dominant position in the iOS App Store market to promote the exclusive use of its own payment solution, according to a statement filed by Match Group with the Competition Commission of India (CCI).Tinder-owner Match Group has filed a lawsuit  against Apple with the competition regulator in India, accusing it of "monopolistic conduct". According to the lawsuit, Apple is forcing developers to pay high commissions for in-app purchases, Reuters reported.

Apple is fending off a raft of antitrust challenges around the globe and Match's filing becomes the third in India, with Match being the first foreign company to mount such a challenge against the iPhone maker in the country.

Match argues Apple's conduct restricts innovation and development of app developers that offer digital services by enforcing the use of its proprietary in-app purchase system and "excessive" 30% commission.

A similar dispute in the Netherlands resulted in a 50 million euro fine for Apple and an agreement to allow different payment methods in Dutch dating applications.

Match argues in its India filing that users in other countries often prefer to use payment methods which Apple does not permit, and in India a state-backed online transfer system was preferred.

"Apple is therefore leveraging its dominant position in the iOS App Store market, to promote the exclusive use of its own payment solution," 

Mark Buse, head of global government relations for Match, said in the filing.

The CCI in December started investigating allegations from a local non-profit group that alleged Apple's in-app purchase system hurts competition by raising costs for app developers and customers, while also acting as a barrier to market entry.

The watchdog ordered the probe after Apple denied any wrongdoing, saying it was not the dominant player in India where it has an "insignificant" 0-5% market share, arguing it was Google's Android that commanded a 90-100% share.

Match's Tinder is one of India's most popular dating apps, and accounted for about 51% of consumer spending in the top five dating apps during the second quarter of this year, data from Sensor Tower shows.

Match has also complained that Apple considers ride-hailing apps in India such as Uber and Ola as those providing "physical goods/services", allowing them to provide alternate payment solutions, even though they perform "a similar matchmaking function" like a dating app.

"Both dating and ridesharing apps share the same fundamental purpose i.e. matching two people online to meet in the real world ... Apple has arbitrarily declared that the two are different," 

Match said.

Source:  Business Standard

digital markets  India 

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