Match Group and IAC are reportedly suing Tinder founder Sean Rad, accusing the entrepreneur of “secretly copying company files and other proprietary information.” The lawsuit was filed in New York on Tuesday.
It claims $250 million in damages – reimbursement for the equity Rad received in spite of his apparent wrongdoing. He is said to have copied emails and files containing sensitive information.
Rad’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, called the move “ridiculous”, claiming that his client was entitled to copy content to his own devices as back up.
The lawsuit is a “desperate act of retaliation”, according to Snyder; Rad, along with several other Tinder founders, is currently attempting to sue Match Group for illegally devaluing stock options.
The founders’ case asked for $2 billion in compensation when it was first tabled in August. Four of the plaintiffs were forced to withdraw in September, however, as it came to light that they had signed a forced arbitration agreement with the tech giant.
Rosette Pambakian, one of the individuals subject to this forced arbitration, has accused former Tinder and Match CEO Greg Blatt of sexual harassment. An email exchange between her and current Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg was made available to GDI in December.
The high-profile spat is concurrent with the misappropriation of trade secrets dispute between Bumble and Match Group. Bumble accuses Match of feigning interest in an acquisition in order to see confidential information, which it would later use for competitive advantage.
That case has itself been described as retaliation for Match suing Bumble over intellectual property. Match claims that Bumble copied Tinder’s swipe-based interface – a claim which survived a motion to dismiss in late 2018.
Read more here.