Bumble attacks Tinder for ‘bullying’ amid bitter row
"Woman-founded, women-led" dating app Bumble has attacked Tinder's parent company for its "aggressive corporate culture" amid a lawsuit and attempted takeover.
Match Group is suing Bumble for alleged patent infringement, while also attempting to buy it out – a move Bumble says is tantamount to bullying.
Bumble issued a withering response to the lawsuit on Tuesday, telling Match Group: "We swipe left on you. We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us.
"We'll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we'll never compromise our values."
The company, which was founded by former Tinder employees, was responding to a lawsuit filed in Texas in which Match claims it invented the phrases "swipe left" and "swipe right" when it comes to dating apps, and accuses Bumble of infringing on its property by using them.
Bumble responded by saying: "We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games. We swipe left on your assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate us.
"Given your enduring interest in our company, we expected you to know us a bit better by now."
According to TechCrunch, Match had made a $450m (£321m) offer to acquire Bumble, which has been described as a "feminist Tinder" as it requires women to initiate the conversation with any potential matches. However, that deal was turned down in November.
Bumble added that Match's "bad behaviour only fuels us".
The statement continued: "It motivates us to push our mission further – to work harder each day to build a platform, community, and brand that promotes kindness, respect, and equality.
"That's the thing about us. We're more than a feature where women make the first move. Empowerment is in our DNA. You can't copy that.
"We remain focused on improving our users' experience, and taking our mission worldwide, until every woman knows she has the power to make the first move, to go after what she wants, and to say 'no' without fear.
"We as a company will always swipe right for empowered moves, and left on attempts to disempower us. We encourage every user to do the same. As one of our mottos goes: 'Bee kind or leave.'
"We wish you the best, but consider yourselves blocked."
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On Monday night, Match Group chief executive Mandy Ginsberg released a memo to her workforce which said: "While I understand that employees will leave companies and seek opportunities elsewhere, we have to protect the collective intellectual property that is the foundation of our success.
"I want to be clear about something: this is not about singling out any individual company. This is about protecting the integrity of your work."