Bumble has now returned the favor by filing a separate lawsuit accusing Match of multiple improprieties in regards to interactions between the two companies over the past few months.
To be clear, this lawsuit isn’t a response to Match’s initial lawsuit, and instead is a separate action raising new allegations against Tinder’s parent company. Bumble had previously published a letter in response to Match’s initial lawsuit, but will presumably also file a a file a separate response to that initial lawsuit, unless a judge decides to consolidate the two cases.
First, the lawsuit acknowledges that Bumble and Match Group were in acquisition talks over the last 6 months, something TechCrunch has previously reported. Bumble alleges that once Match Group found out there were other companies also interested in either investing in or acquiring Bumble, Match Group filed their aforementioned lawsuit to make Bumble less attractive to those other companies.
Secondly, Bumble alleges that during the acquisition process Match Group fraudulently requested that Bumble provide “confidential and trade secret information” which Match Group said they “needed to provide a higher offer for Bumble”. Bumble alleges that no subsequent offer came, and Match Group instead requested and obtained this information solely for “the financial benefit of its dating app businesses”.
Lastly, Bumble is claiming that Match Group disparaged Bumble, which has potentially affected Bumble’s other investment and acquisition opportunities. Specifically, Bumble alleges that Match Group “published false or disparaging information about Bumble, including statements in the press falsely claiming that Bumble infringed Match’s intellectual property, as well as false statements in the Lawsuit”.
The lawsuit requests relief in the form of monetary damages, which Bumble estimates at $400M. Additionally, they are requesting a permanent injunction preventing Match or any affiliates from using any of the obtained confidential information.
While the lawsuit does briefly touch on why Bumble thinks Match Group’s patent infringement claims are frivolous, the main focus is on these new allegations against Match Group.
The whole situation seems messy, as is often the case with lawsuits between two major competitors. It’s all complicated by the fact that Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd was a co-founder of Tinder, and was involved in previous litigation related to harassment and discrimination.
Bumble declined to comment on the lawsuit. We’ve reached out to Match Group and will update this post if we hear back.