SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced that the Match Group has settled a civil unfair competition lawsuit.
The Match Group owns dating service sites that include Match.com, PlentyofFish, OkCupid and Tinder.
The DA's Office's Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Units worked with the California Auto Renewal Taskforce to file the lawsuit in December. The lawsuit claimed that the company's dating service subscriptions violated some of the state's automatic renewal and contract laws. The task force claims that the company's sign-up processes did not clearly and conspicuously let users know that they were enrolling in an automatically renewing service and did not get the required consent.
Prosecutors also claimed that the Match Group's post-payment acknowledgements did not let users know how to cancel and made the cancellation process difficult on purpose.
The Match Group agreed to pay $2 million in civil penalties and costs, victim restitution and a permanent injunction against future violations as part of the settlement. The company will be required to be more transparent about automatically renewing subscriptions.
“The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting consumers from unlawful practices from the largest of companies who engage in unfair competition. Automatic Renewals take advantage of consumers by getting them in and not letting them out,” said District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell.
The DA's Office said it has gotten competition judgements against two of the world's largest dating service providers, but also judgements against Amazon and Apple for unfair competition.