android, match group backs india’s ‘bold, firm’ tech policy stance
India has become assertive in defining the next generation of technology and intends to be “bold and firm” in its regulations, Mark Buse, Senior Vice President (SVP) and Head of Global Government Relations & Policy at Match Group which owns popular dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, told ET.Match filed an antitrust case against Apple Inc with India’s competition regulator recently, accusing it of “monopolistic conduct” that forces developers to pay high commissions for in-app purchases.Apple is embroiled in several antitrust challenges across the globe and the iPhone maker has two other cases against it on the same issue in India.“We filed a complaint against Apple in India a few weeks ago because India is taking an assertive role in defining what the next generation of tech is going to look like,” Buse said, explaining the reason for filing the complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI).“Since the CCI has studied and examined what has happened in South Korea and the Netherlands, their intent is on being bold and firm for India which is becoming a startup capital of the world,” Buse added.In the Netherlands, Apple was fined $55 million for failing to comply with an order to allow dating apps to use alternative payment formats.The CCI started probing the Apple matter in December, investigating whether its in-app purchase system hurts competition. It was acting on a complaint by the NGO, Together We Fight Society.According to news wire Reuters, Match said in its latest filing that users in other countries often prefer to use payment methods that 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,” Buse was quoted by Reuters as saying.In its defence, Apple told the CCI that it was not the dominant player in India where it has an “insignificant” 0-5% market share, and that it was Google’s Android OS that commanded a lion’s share of the market.Apple did not respond to email queries as of press time on Tuesday.Match’s Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps in India and the country is a significant market for the company. This is not surprising as India is being touted as a market with immense potential for the app economy.According to a report by app intelligence firm Sensor Tower in June, while North America will lead in consumer spending growth over the next five years, with revenue growing 113% in that region, Asia will see the most growth in app adoption.“Asia will see the most growth in app adoption. The region will experience a 6.2% CAGR and reach 88.3 billion first-time downloads by 2026, driven primarily by Google Play,” it said.Apple’s marketplace will see a CAGR (Compounded Annual growth Rate) of 1.7% over the next five years, reaching 14.5 billion, whereas Google Play will outpace the combined CAGR with 7.2% and reach 73.8 billion in 2026.“India will lead the region, reaching 40.2 billion new downloads in 2026, up 44% compared to 27.8 billion in 2021,” according to the report.The CCI is probing both the tech giants – Apple and Google – for their app store policies.ET reported earlier this month that the competition watchdog was expected to decide on its investigation into Google’s Play Store policy shortly.In 2020, Google imposed a commission on all Play Store transactions, which was criticised by stakeholders globally and in India where it was seen as monopolistic and stifling competition.
The CCI began probing the company based on complaints from app developers and on whether Google was blocking rival payment options in its billing process.

Keyword: Match Group backs India’s ‘bold, firm’ tech policy stance

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