In this closely watched nationally-publicized dispute and trial, the Plaintiffs, which included the founders and former executives of the dating app Tinder, agreed to settle their claims against Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, and Match Group’s former majority controlling shareholder, IAC Interactive Corp for $441 million. The case involved a valuation dispute related to Tinder stock options granted to Plaintiffs in 2014. Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants undermined the option valuation process and cheated Tinder option holders of billions when their Tinder options were converted to Match options in July 2017 at a $3 billion valuation. Plaintiffs claimed that Tinder was actually worth $13.2 billion at the time, amounting to damages of approximately $2 billion.
Compass Lexecon expert, Anindya Ghose (the Heinz Riehl Chair Professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business), filed an expert report and provided deposition testimony concerning the economics of digital companies, mobile apps, and monetization of the digital economy. Using Tinder’s growth and performance data over the years, Professor Ghose explained how Defendants’ experts’ opinions were flawed because they ignored Tinder’s innovations, overstated the risks, and understated the growth prospects of Tinder at the time of the valuation. The claims were settled on the eve of Professor Ghose’s trial testimony and closing arguments.
Plaintiffs were successfully represented by Orin Snyder, Laura Kathryn O’Boyle, Matt Benjamin, Connor S. Sullivan and others at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Josh Dubin of Dubin Research & Consulting, Inc.. Peter Clayburgh, Todd Kendall, James Tam, Mihir Gokhale, Neil Ries and others in Compass Lexecon’s Chicago, New York, and Pasadena offices provided support to Professor Anindya Ghose and worked extensively with the Gibson Dunn team over the three year litigation.