Tinder co-founder Sean Rad. Photo: S3studio/Getty Images

Match Group on Tuesday responded to Sean Rad and the other founders of dating app Tinder, who sued Match and parent company IAC two months ago for allegedly undervaluing Tinder, thus depriving them of compensation.

The defense: Match, which has always owned Tinder, argues in a new court filing that this is just sour grapes from those who sold their shares too soon and is asking a New York court to dismiss the lawsuit.

Among Match's claims:

  • Rad's argument that Tinder's $3 billion valuation was "fraudulent" is invalid, given that he was intimately involved with the valuation process led by Barclays and Deutsche Bank. For example, Rad, his bankers and his attorneys allegedly participated in at least eight such meetings, including four of them in person.
  • Both Match and Rad underestimated Tinder's future performance, including a new product called Tinder Gold. For example, Rad's higher estimate for 2018 revenue was $503 million, whereas Tinder is actually on track for around $800 million.
  • Rad chose to sell his Match Group shares, netting around $400 million, while his co-plaintiffs did the same. Had they believed Tinder would outperform, Match argues, they would have held onto their stock and reaped the benefits (Match shares are up more than 60% year to date).
  • The challenge is being brought too late, as there is a 90-day window in New York for challenging arbitration and appraisal awards.

Some of the original plaintiffs dropped out of the lawsuit several weeks after it was filed. Among them was Rosette Pambakian, former Tinder VP of marketing and communications, who alleged sexual harassment against former Match Group CEO and Chairman Greg Blatt.

Match's request for dismissal does not address the harassment allegations, which it has previously denied.

An attorney for Tinder, Orin Snyder, told Axios in a statement: "IAC and Match know they cheated Tinder employees out of billions of dollars. Their sham valuation is a case study of corporate dishonesty and corruption. When the jury sees the evidence, we are confident the talented team who built Tinder will prevail."

Correction: The story has been corrected to show that Greg Blatt is no longer at Match Group.

Go deeper

Election clues county by county

Ipsos and the University of Virginia's Center for Politics are out with an interactive U.S. map that goes down to the county level to track changes in public sentiment that could decide the presidential election.

How it works: The 2020 Political Atlas tracks President Trump's approval ratings, interest around the coronavirus, what's dominating social media and other measures, with polling updated daily — enhancing UVA's "Crystal Ball."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,605,656 — Total deaths: 970,934 Total recoveries: 21,747,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,897,432 — Total deaths: 200,814 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: The U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths — The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.

Trump pushes to expand ban against anti-racism training to federal contractors

Trump speaking at Moon Township, Penns., on Sept. 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced late Tuesday that the White House attempt to halt federal agencies' anti-racism training would be expanded to block federal contractors from "promoting radical ideologies that divide Americans by race or sex."

Why it matters: The executive order appears to give the government the ability to cancel contracts if anti-racist or diversity trainings focused on sexual identity or gender are organized. The memo applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

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