Did Match Violate IPO “Quiet Period” Rules with Tinder Interview?

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Match.com, which is expected to price its IPO tonight, has just filed an updated document with the SEC, saying that it did not condone Tinder CEO’s Sean Rad interview with the London Evening Standard.

The controversial interview, in which Rad misused the word “sodomy,” occurred in the weeks leading up to an IPO, when companies are not supposed to promote their stock to the media.

According to the updated filing, “the article was not approved or condoned by, and the content of the article was not reviewed by, the Company or any of its affiliates. Mr. Rad is not a director or executive officer of the Company and was not authorized to make statements on behalf of the Company for purposes of the article.”  While Rad is presently the CEO at Tinder, he is not an executive at the parent company, Match.

The filing highlighted some Tinder statistics that were in the article. “Analysts believe the [Tinder] app, which launched in 2012, has around 80 million users worldwide and records 1.8 billion “swipes” a day.”  

The SEC document says that “while these statements were not made by Mr. Rad, the Company notes that they are inaccurate and directs readers to the Preliminary Prospectus, which states that for the month of September 2015, Tinder had approximately 9.6 million daily active users, with Tinder users “swiping” through an average of more than 1.4 billion user profiles each day.”

We’re told that this particular offense was not enough to derail the IPO, which is still on. It was certainly not the kind of headlines the company wanted to be generating on the eve of its first night as an independent company from IAC. Google famously ran into problems when Larry Page and Sergey Brin spoke to Playboy in its IPO quiet period in 2004.

Sean Rad recently returned as CEO of Tinder after stepping aside amid a harassment scandal. No word on whether he will need to step aside again.