Match Group (MTCH) shares were 4% higher in late trade on Thursday, shrugging off a lawsuit filed by dating app Bumble Trading Inc accusing rival Match of fraud and trade secrets theft.
The two sides were still talking about a potential acquisition earlier this year, according to multiple sources, but then Match filed its patent infringement lawsuit this month, taking Bumble by surprise.
In 2014, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd sued Tinder, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination during her time working there at the app's beginning.
In its Wednesday lawsuit, Bumble is requesting $400 million in damages, as well as an injunction preventing Match and its affiliates from using any of the confidential information they received over the course of the acquisition negotiations. Bumble also said that during the acquisition talks Match induced the production of confidential information exclusively for "the financial benefit of its dating app businesses". Bumble alleges that instead of paying what the app is worth, Match made the anti-competitive move of filing. Bumble said it turned down the offer, considering it to be a lowball bid.
The legal action is not a direct response to Match Group's initial lawsuit. 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.
Bumble also said that during the acquisition talks Match induced the production of confidential information exclusively for "the financial benefit of its dating app businesses".