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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Barry Diller denies that the media empire defrauded the founder of Tinder for $2 billion




Barry Diller on Monday denied allegations that his media empire had a deceptive entrepreneurial model. He took the stage to defend IAC’s allegations that IAC robbed the founder of the dating app Tinder for $2 billion.

“The only thing we want is [valuations] for equality. .. If we lose confidence in our employees, we will gain nothing,” said Diller, a long-time Hollywood executive who later became an Internet investor supporting companies such as Expedia and TripAdvisor.

IAC’s most successful company, Tinder, is now in ugly disputes with its six founders, including Sean Ladd, who sued Diller’s company in a New York State court, accusing it of acquiring their stake in 2017.

At the time, independent investment bankers valued Tinder at US$3 billion, and the founders held approximately 20% of the company’s shares. Now they believe this figure is US$10 billion lower than its fair value at the time.

The 79-year-old Diller admitted that he had little day-to-day supervision of Tinder. He testified that he remembered seeing Rader only once, and he did not know the complexity of the contract between the Tinder founders and IAC regarding his equity.

When asked about Tinder’s operating performance in 2016 and 2017, Diller admitted that he knows registration best — which he calls the “top of the funnel” — and he said this shows that the growth of dating apps is slowing. Rad’s lawyers argued that other indicators such as income prove that Tinder is still in expansion mode, although Diller said he did not pay close attention to these figures.

Rad’s lawyers pressured Diller on Greg Blatt, a long-term lawyer and executive of IAC, who succeeded Rad as the head of Tinder before the 2017 valuation process. Rad claimed that Blatter was airborne to manipulate the valuation. IAC believes that Blatter was actually appointed to rescue Tinder from Rader’s failed management.

Diller said that Blatter was “very smart, worked very hard, and was full of curiosity.” When asked if Blatt is a bully, Diller replied: “He is passionate and dramatic. He is a decent person. He is capricious. Some people may be scared. He has a certainty. Ostentatious.”

Diller appeared on the witness stand in the New York court, and the trial is underway, which gives us a glimpse into the life of one of the most influential media tycoons.

In 2014, before the conflict between Rad and IAC erupted, Diller sent an email to Rad, which read “… talk to a deck crew on my ship today-they say Tinder is more A godsend for socializing, not browsing. This ship sails a lot and is now in the Caribbean.”

When Diller was asked what he was doing in 2016 and 2017-when the Tinder valuation process was going on-he mentioned his directorships at Coca-Cola and the Washington Post, and his work for the construction of what is now known as The effort made by the island’s park is on the Hudson River, next to the IAC headquarters.

Rad’s lawyers shared an email exchange between Diller and Jack Welch in 2015. Jack Welch was the long-term CEO of General Electric and he was a paid consultant to IAC. In the email, Welch referred to Blatter as “cancer,” and Diller disagreed with this assessment when he testified on Monday.

The back and forth between Rad’s lawyer Orin Snyder and Diller was sometimes tense, and Judge Joel Cohen once asked for “less quarreling”. The lawyers of both sides returned to the judge’s room many times, arguing over the scope of the interrogation, leaving Diller alone in the witness box until they returned. Once, Diller joked, “If we all got up and left, it would be fun.”

IAC said in a statement on Monday: “Tinder has been in chaos since its inception because Sean Rad is a terrible leader.” “The plaintiff wasted jury time by subpoenaing witnesses like Mr. Diller… They have nothing to do with Tinder’s valuation-because they are more interested in grandstanding than in showing evidence.”




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