Match Group the parent company of Tinder and also owns popular dating sites Hinge, OKCupid and PlentyOfFish is attempting to make a break from Apple and Google’s eye-watering fees which can cost apps as much as 30% of their revenue.
A law which was recently passed in South Korea has resulted in Match Group planning to capitalize on the changes which could allow their South Korean users to avoid the payment systems which are set in stone by Apple and Google for those in other countries.
The drama began back in June when Match bought Seoul based media company Hyperconnect for $1.73 billion and now reveal plans to update apps before October is out.
The updates could spark a backlash from Apple and Google who have previously threatened to fine companies as much as 3% of their South Korean revenue if they do not comply with their current rules on payment systems.
Match, which relies on app stores for much of its marketing offers free downloads but additional services are paid-for. These additional services are popular and include the ability to browse anonymously and to see when sent messages have been read.
The in-app fees paid to Apple and Google are Match’s largest single expense and this year, Match expects to pay around $500 million in these fees.
Match are not the only company striking back though – in September, a federal judge in California ruled that Apple is banned from halting app developers from sending users away from Apple to pay for features or downloads. The case was brought by Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite.
Match is currently working on an another payment option which it plans to offer to users of Hyperconnect shortly.
A spokesperson for Apple has expressed concerns that users’ privacy protections could be undermined.
Match is no stranger to legal battles though and notably fought three of Tinder’s cofounders in court including Sean Rad, Tinder’s founder and former CEO.
Sean Rad developed Tinder in 2012 whilst employed by Hatch Labs. Hatch agreed that Rad could develop the idea with a team he was already working with on another project and Rad struck a deal which meant he and the team would get a majority stake in Tinder.
Rad battled with his ex-colleague Whitney Wolfe Herd who accused him of sexual harassment and bullying during her time at Tinder.
Match is a formidable opponent but whether they succeed in their challenge to Apple and Google will remain to be seen.
Match is moving forward with speed to ensure their alternative payment option will be available to users in South Korea very soon.