RECODE - Aug 1 - On this episode of Recode Decode, Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg talks with Recode's Kurt Wagner about how her company became dominant in online dating. Ginsberg also talks about Facebook dating and her admiration for Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe, even as the two companies have traded lawsuits and barbed words in the press, and why it's natural for consumers of different ages to use different apps.
Q: When Facebook announced its entry into online dating, what was going through your mind? Were you surprised?
A: Yes, that actual day I was. I had just printed the script for our earning call and I threw it behind my desk, I just tossed it. It was not shocking because we've studied the single population and people were saying that they met their partners through Facebook. But it was surprising because Facebook has stayed away from online dating quite intentionally.
Q: Lets talk about Bumble. Where do you stand now?
A: I have a tremendous amount of respect for the brand and what Bumble has done and what Whitney has done. But we own a patent around swiping and unlocking communication, which we are really excited about. We never had that before. And honestly, you don't use a patent unless you feel that it's defensible because it's expensive, and it takes a long time. So anyway, we scoured, looked at all the competition. There were several competitors that were big that were infringing on the patent. And so we made a decision to go after Bumble, Tantan and some other ones too that we've actually sent letters to as well, that they've now adjusted their products or are in talks with us.
Q: What's the thinking when you are talking to a company about a potential acquisition and then you sue them?
A: Businesses and deals will come and go. This is about protecting the integrity of your work.