Legal

Zuckerberg Called Tinder Co-Founder “Irrelevant” but Still Gave Him Access to User Data

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Tinder co-founder Sean Rad “irrelevant” back in 2014, but still gave him special access to user data, according to leaked emails reported by Forbes.

Zuckerberg had considered entering the online dating industry as far back as 2014, but ultimately put the decision on hold and granted the founder of Tinder, now one of the most popular dating apps in the world, special access to user data. Facebook colleagues suggested he meet with Rad, but Zuckerberg rejected the suggestion, saying in the emails, “I don’t think he’s that relevant. He probably just wants to make sure we won’t turn off their API.”

Match Group Stock Take a Hit as Company Misses Revenue Goals 

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Shares of Match Group fell 15 percent after the company announced it will miss revenue goals for the fourth quarter. Shares of IAC also fell by 11 percent, according to Reuters.

The company expects fourth quarter revenue to be between $545 and $555 million, short of the $559.3 million goal according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

This news comes on the heels of a complaint filed by the U.S. Federal Trading Commission that Match Group offered fake profiles to entice customers to purchase paid subscriptions to its services, among other “deceptive and unfair practices,” as said in the lawsuit. Match Group is also facing legal entanglements with former Tinder employees, including founder Sean Rad, who said the company cheated him out of rightful payment after undervaluing his stock options.

NY Appeals Court Rules Against IAC’s Bid To Dismiss Tinder Founders’ $2B Lawsuit

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A New York state appeals court unanimously rejected IAC/InterActiveCorp’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Tinder founders and early employees who say IAC undervalued Tinder to avoid paying them billions of dollars. This decision affirms a June 13 ruling in which New York State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla also rejected a motion to dismiss the litigation.

The lawsuit alleges that IAC and Match Group cheated the plaintiffs out of money they were owed by improperly undervaluing Tinder, which today is worth more than $20 billion, and converting their company stock options. The appeals court denied IAC’s motion to dismiss on statute-of-limitations and other grounds, and said that the plaintiffs “were not bound under their stock options agreements to what they considered artificially low valuations of their stakes.”

IAC Plans to Spin Off Match Group

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IAC spins off Match Group

IAC has announced its plan to spin off its most profitable company, Match Group, to create “two independent public companies,” according to a company statement.

Match Group is a publicly traded company and owns a suite of star dating apps like Tinder, PlentyofFish, Hinge and OkCupid among others, but IAC is still Match Group’s majority owner (with 80 percent of Match Group’s holdings). According to Tech Crunch, when the spin-off occurs, IAC says it would distribute its Match Group shares to IAC stockholders, which means IAC shareholders would have shares in both companies.

The move would allow Match Group to become a fully separate, independent company.

Former Tinder Executives Face More Legal Action

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Greg Blatt
Greg Blatt

Former CEO of Tinder and Match Group Greg Blatt filed a defamation lawsuit this month against Tinder co-founder Sean Rad and former VP of Marketing and Communications Rosette Pambakian.

According to a report by CNN, Blatt claimed in the lawsuit that Rad offered to pay Pambakian “millions of dollars” to make “false allegations of sexual harassment against Blatt…in a brazen attempt to gain publicity.” He was referring to an earlier sexual harassment lawsuit Pambakian had filed against him, which she alleged took place at a company holiday party.

Match.com Responds To FTC Lawsuit And Fraud Allegations

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Match.com released an official statement regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations that the dating service exposed consumers to the risk of fraud and engaged in other deceptive and unfair business practices.

In a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Texas, the FTC alleges that Match used fake notifications to trick users into upgrading to premium subscriptions and that the company deceived consumers by failing to provide clear disclosures and cancellation practices. Match has denied the allegations, claiming that the issues pointed out by the FTC have “either been taken grossly out of context or permanently eliminated by Match.”