Tinder reaches $17.3m settlement in age discrimination lawsuit

Tinder has reached a $17.3m settlement for the Tinder Plus Pricing Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit filed against the company, which began last April. Lead plaintiff Lisa Kim accused the online dating app of age discrimination when it was discovered the app was using a tier system for premium membership fees. According to 30-year-old Kim, the app charged her $19.99 a month for her Tinder Plus premium membership, while users under 29 were only being charged $9.99 for the same access.

Although Tinder users are still able to download and use the app for free, Tinder Plus was launched in 2015 for optional features that require a monthly fee. These advanced features included hiding ages and advertisements, rewinding swipes, and enabling a user to swipe in a different location.

Tinder defended the price difference by saying the platform was imitating the pricing structures of other popular apps, such as Spotify. Tinder, which is owned by Match.com, also stated, “During our testing we’ve learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained and need a lower price to pull the trigger”.

In compliance with the settlement, the potential 230,000 Class Members will be given a choice in receiving a $25 check, 25 Super Likes, or a free Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold subscription. Tinder will also issue $11.5m worth of Super Likes, which enable a user to become more noticeable to potential matches, to the entire Settlement Class, equaling around 50 per member. In addition, Tinder will be updating its pricing policies under the settlement terms. The app will, however, still give a discounted price to users under 21.

“The Settlement resulted from the Parties’ participation in an all-day mediation sessio,” stated lead plaintiff Lisa Kim’s motion for preliminary approval. “The Settlement provides for a substantial financial benefit to each Settlement Class Member.”

Tinder will pay $1.2m in attorneys’ fees and will give Kim $5,000 out of the settlement total of $17.3m. To qualify for the Tinder Plus Pricing Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Class, users must have been subscribed to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold between 2 March 2015 and have been at least 29-years-old at the time of their subscription.

“The Settlement allows for an exception in the event of subsequent legislation in California that specifically addresses age-based pricing and, reasonably interpreted, would permit age-based pricing using other age cut-offs,” noted the motion for approval of the Tinder class action settlement.