Even if you don’t use dating apps, you’ve probably heard of both Tinder and Bumble at this point. Tinder, of course, is the website where you swipe either left or right to tell human beings whether you find them dateable, while Bumble uses something of the same model, but only women can make the first move. Plenty of room, in a world full of singles, for both, right? Well, not so much, after a merger bid went sour.
It starts in November, when Match Group, which owns Tinder, was trying to buy Bumble for $1 billion, after Bumble turned down a $450 million acquisition bid. There was already some history, there, as Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe, one of the original founders of Tinder who accused the company of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination in a suit that was quickly settled.
Those talks fell through, so Tinder is resorting to court action, suing Bumble in mid-March claiming it stole trade secrets. Bumble today upped the ante, stating that the merger was just an attempt to get at Bumble’s trade secrets, according to Fortune:
The legal action is not a direct response to Match Group’s initial lawsuit. (Bumble has already issued a response in the form of a letter, which was also published as a full-page ad in The New York Times). Rather, the Wednesday suit, which acknowledges that Bumble and the Tinder parent were in acquisition talks, broadly accuses Match Group of interfering with Bumble’s business operations.
It’s difficult, considering the context, not to assume there’s a lot more to this. We’ll find out as these cases unfold.