Match Group will pay Tinder’s co-founders and original team $441 million to settle a years-long lawsuit over allegations that Match Group purposely undervalued the startup in an effort to avoid paying out billions of dollars in equity. The settlement comes a few weeks after the trial began in the New York Supreme Court, which has included testimony from the plaintiffs, including Tinder co-founder and former CEO Sean Rad, and the defense, including IAC chairman and founder Barry Diller. (IAC owned Match Group up until last year when it spun out into its company.)
The plaintiffs were originally seeking a $2 billion payout. They first filed the lawsuit in 2018, a year after Match Group merged Tinder into its dating app portfolio, resulting in the plaintiffs receiving Match stock instead of Tinder stock, which they had hoped and planned to receive. Both the plaintiffs’ legal team and Match Group had no further comment on the settlement.
The trial has been a messy one — four plaintiffs dropped out after realizing they were under an arbitration agreement, and much of the case initially revolved around an allegation of sexual assault. Tinder’s former VP of marketing and communications, Rosette Pambakian, alleged former Tinder and Match Group CEO Greg Blatt sexually assaulted her at a company holiday party. Blatt has since sued her and Rad for defamation, and that lawsuit was settled along with the valuation suit, according to counsel for the plaintiffs.