Following Match Group’s 51% acquisition of Hinge, Yahoo Finance’s Chief Tech Correspondent JP Mangalindan has considered whether US legislature may intervene at some stage to prevent an online dating monopoly from forming.
Match Group now owns over 45 online dating companies, including Tinder, PlentyofFish, OkCupid, OurTime and Pairs.
The company had a revenue stream of around $1.3 billion last year – approximately one third of global online dating market revenue ($4 billion).
The dominance of Match Group is beginning to trigger some level of antitrust concern amongst investors and commentators.
No action has been taken by the FTC, however, and Mangalindan suggests this may be because the market is still sufficiently competitive.
The US Government uses a company-by-company measure called the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) to assess the extent to which a market is monopolised on a scale of 1-10,000.
A company with a score of 10,000 would own 100% of the market share in a particular sector on this measure.
While it is likely that the government has calculated Match Groups HHI, the piece argues, it does not seem to have found cause for intervention.
Match’s share may be set to decrease with the entrance of Facebook Dating into the market. Further, Momo’s acquisition of Tantan makes China more difficult to penetrate.
“Monopolization is just hard to prove,” says Christopher Sagers, a professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
“That’s the main reason the government hasn’t come after Amazon. … There’s a pretty different reason the government hasn’t come after Match Group. While this is a lot of acquisitions, Match Group is still small.”
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