Tinder Co-Founder Asks Court to Dismiss Match Group Suit

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Tinder Co-Founder Sean Rad is continuing his legal battle with Match Group by asking the court to dismiss the dating giant’s counter-lawsuit against him.

Rad, along with other former Tinder employees, filed a lawsuit against Tinder’s parent company last year, claiming that Match Group deliberately devalued their stock options to avoid paying billions of dollars in equity. Part of the evidence he cites is his email correspondence, which has become a sticky point for him and the lawsuit.

Match Group says that Rad violated his employment contract with them by holding on to proprietary emails and information that he should have handed over upon his departure from the company. They also claim that he copied “highly sensitive, non-public information” about Tinder’s business strategies, according to website The Verge. In response, Match Group counter sued Rad for $250 million.

Rad however asked the New York Supreme Court for a motion to dismiss Match Group’s lawsuit, because he claims that his contract gave him the right to back up internal emails even after he left the company. In addition, he says that he signed an agreement with Match Group that allowed him to use the emails in legal action, because he “wanted protection if Match attempted to rob him of his Tinder equity,” according to The Verge. Rad also claims that his contract allowed him between 10 and 30 days to correct any cause of potential termination, including the email backups.

Rad’s lawyer Orin Snyder told The Verge, “The contract specifically allowed Sean Rad to keep these documents, and IAC and Match are just mad that Sean retained the evidence that will expose their misconduct. We look forward to presenting that evidence to a jury.”

In early March, Cheddar reported that a recent independent valuation of Tinder placed its value at around $10 billion, significantly higher than its original $3 billion valuation in 2017. As Cheddar stated, this information “has potential ramifications for an explosive lawsuit against the company.” This new valuation could work in favor for the former Tinder employees who are pursuing the lawsuit against Match Group, who were promised performance-based stock packages based on future valuations of Tinder.

Tinder accounted for nearly half of Match Group’s revenue in 2018. Since Tinder’s valuation in 2017, Match Group stock has increased more than 200 percent.

Lawyer Orin Snyder told Cheddar: “This report provides further evidence of what we’ve been saying all along — that Match schemed to cheat Tinder’s founders and employees out of billions of dollars.”