clock menu more-arrow no yes

Bumble is suing Match Group for $400 million in damages for stealing trade secrets

Everyone is suing everyone.

Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd
Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest 2017

Bumble, the popular dating app, and Match Group, which owns another popular dating app, Tinder, are in the midst of a messy, public divorce — and the two sides never even got married to begin with.

The latest: Bumble filed a lawsuit late Wednesday claiming Match Group, which tried to buy Bumble late last year, interfered with its business operations, and is asking for $400 million in damages.

Bumble alleges Match Group stole trade secrets through “fraudulent” behavior and hurt Bumble’s chances of selling an equity investment, or the company altogether, by filing its own patent infringement lawsuit against Bumble earlier this month. Bumble’s suit described Match’s legal action as “chilling the market for an investment in Bumble.”

Bumble’s suit also claims that Match Group used its position as a potential acquirer to gather Bumble’s private business information during due diligence for competitive reasons. The lawsuit claims Match Group offered to buy Bumble for $450 million last June, what Bumble referred to as a “lowball” offer, then failed to make a serious offer even after looking under the hood at Bumble’s business.

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.

“Unwilling to pay fair value for Bumble, Match tried to poison Bumble in the investment market by filing bogus intellectual property claims to wrongfully disparage the Bumble platform,” the lawsuit reads.

Now Bumble wants $400 million.

Update: A Match Group spokesperson sent Recode the following statement on Thursday:

This lawsuit is a petulant and meritless response to our patent and trade secret claims. Last week, Bumble claimed our complaint was baseless and won’t affect them, and this week they claim it is “chilling” the sale of their company. They also shockingly claim that our patents issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office are “bogus”. We obviously think their lawsuit has no substance and look forward to proving that in court.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas County, Texas, is just the latest in what has become an ugly battle between the two dating apps.

Last week, following Match Group’s patent infringement lawsuit, Bumble took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling Match a “bully.” “We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values,” the ad reads.

Adding to the drama is the fact that Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd was also a founder of Tinder, and filed a sexual harassment lawsuit when she left the company in 2014.

Clearly, this is far from over.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.