Match Group Files Antitrust Case Against Apple In India

Match Group has filed an antitrust case against Apple with the competition regulator in India. They are accusing it of ‘monopolistic conduct’ that forces the developers to pay high commissions for in-app purchases.

The Match Group argues that Apple’s conduct has led to restrictions on innovation and development by enforcing the use of in-app purchase systems and ‘excessive’ 30% commission. 

This is similar to a dispute that was raised in the Netherlands which resulted in a 50 million euro fine for Apple and an agreement for alternative payment methods in Dutch dating apps.

Apple has long mandated use of its in-app payment system, which charges commissions which developers have argued is too high.

Within its India filing, Match has argued that users in other countries prefer to use payment methods which Apple does not permit.

“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.

In December, the CCI started their investigation into allegations from a local non-profit group that said that Apple’s in-app purchase system hurts competition by raising the costs for app developers and customers and also acts as a barrier to market entry.

After Apple denied any wrongdoing, the watchdog ordered the probe. Apple said it was not the dominant player in India as it has a 0-5% market share, arguing that Google’s Android commanded a 90-100% share.

An investigation will now be conducted into all three cases against Apple.

Tinder is one of India’s most popular dating platforms and accounted for roughly 51% of consumer spending in the second quarter of this year.

Match has also complained that Apple considers ride-hailing apps in India such as Uber and SoftBank-backed 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.