Barry Diller denies cheating his company Tinder founder on $ 2 billion

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Billionaire Barry Diller took a stand Monday to defend his media empire from a lawsuit claiming he defrauded Tinder’s founder of $ 2 billion.

Sean Rad, co-founder and former CEO of Hookup App, says that Diller’s companies – the IAC and Match Group – issued fake “doom-and-gloom” financial projections to outside investment bankers in a major valuation process in 2017. He says banks later validated Tinder. At $ 3 billion, it should be at least $ 13.2 billion, dramatically reducing payments to co-founders and other startups.

When questioned by Rod’s lawyer, the defiant Diller strongly denied that he had ordered subordinates to lie to the banks, calling the idea “nonsense.”

“It’s a mistake,” the 79-year-old businessman said, referring to the idea of ​​lying to banks.

As proof that Diller tried to intimidate Rod, Rod’s lawyers pointed to an email in May 2017 where Rod, after Tinder’s CEO, longtime Diller ally Greg Blott, wrote that Diller wanted to “get behind” Sean Rad and his family. They have ”- in clear retaliation for the founders complaining about the valuation process.

The Mogul refused to threaten Rod, saying, “I can assure you I have never threatened anyone.”

“I can assure you I have never threatened anyone,” Barry Diller said in court.
Alec Tabak

Blatt has decided to give himself a hearing before the trial ends in late November or December. According to Susquehanna lawsuit analyst Thomas Claps, parties can choose to settle somewhere between $ 300 million and $ 700 million before the trial ends.

Diller, who wore a striped navy suit and a clear mask to the Manhattan Supreme Court – appeared angry with Rod’s lawyer, saying “Oh my god” twice during the trial. And when he credited Rod with coming up with Tinder’s iconic swipe-based design, he argued that the app would not be profitable without years of financial support and guidance from Match, which has dating apps like Hinge and Occupyd.

Sean Rad (pictured) and other Tinder founders are suing Diller companies for $ 2 billion.
Alec Tabak

“People in the game are really skilled at taking free assets and turning them into businesses,” said Diller, who was valued at $ 5.3 billion by Forbes. “[Match’s] The model is literally adapted to Tinder.

Rod – who founded Tinder in 2012 while working for a Diller-controlled startup incubator called Hatch Labs – took a stand last week to explain allegations against Diller companies. He said the affirmative evaluation process – which eventually earned him nearly $ 400 million but he claims he owed more than $ 1 billion – caused him a psychological injury.

Barry Diller appeared to be provoked by questioning from Rod’s lawyer.
Alec Tabak

“I had PTSD, was going to therapy, I was working on myself,” Rod said Friday of his mental state after the 2017 evaluation process.

Rod said the experience helped inspire investments made in the online health startup.

A spokesman for Rod & Match did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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