Tinder’s founders just won a partial victory in their lawsuit against Match over alleged financial trickery. Match has agreed to settle the case by paying $441 million from its cash reserves, reported The Wall Street Journal. In return, the Tinder co-creators will dismiss the claims from both the lawsuit and linked arbitration.
The court battle began in 2018, when the plaintiffs accused Tinder’s parent organizations Match and IAC of manipulating financial data (including a secret merger with Match) to artificially lower Tinder’s valuation and illegally deny stock options to workers. The plaintiffs also alleged that interim Tinder chief Greg Blatt sexually harassed marketing VP and co-founder Rosette Pambakian in 2016. Tinder fired the employees in response to their lawsuit, and Pambakian separately sued Blatt, IAC and Match Group over the assault claims.
Tinder, the product of an IAC incubator for startups, was launched in 2012. Match, Tinder’s parent company, had been an IAC subsidiary but was spun out as a public company in 2015.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said part of their compensation from Match and IAC came in the form of Tinder stock options that were set to convert to Match shares in 2017.
As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs agreed to drop all their claims against Match that are on trial and in arbitration, Match said, adding that it plans to pay the settlement using cash it has on hand.
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