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Match will pay Tinder founders $441 million to settle lawsuit over financial deception (updated)

It's not a clear win for either side.
SPAIN - 2021/10/13: In this photo illustration a Tinder logo seen displayed on a smartphone on top of a computer keyboard. (Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|December 1, 2021 12:40 PM

Tinder's founders just won a partial victory in their lawsuit against Match Group over alleged financial trickery. Match has agreed to settle the case by paying $441 million from its cash reserves. 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. 

We've asked Match for comment. Tinder's founders said they couldn't comment beyond a joint statement in an SEC filing where both parties said they were "pleased" to have settled the case.

This isn't quite the decisive blow Tinder's founders wanted. The company originally demanded "billions of dollars" in damages (around $2 billion, to be more exact) for the claimed Match and IAC manipulation — it's getting a fraction of that payout after three years. While Match is still on the hook, it's not taking long-lasting damage as a result.

Update 12/1 1:20PM ET: Match Group told Engadget the settlement also covers Pambakian's sexual assault claims.

Match will pay Tinder founders $441 million to settle lawsuit over financial deception (updated)