Match.com wins dismissal of lawsuit by online daters

Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:56pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Internet daters aren't likely to get a date in court with Match.com.

The online matchmaking service, a unit of IAC/Interactive Corp., won the dismissal on Friday of most of a lawsuit that contended the company duped consumers into believing it had millions of subscribers when more than half were inactive, fake or scammers.

U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay in Dallas ruled that Match.com had not breached its user agreements, finding the pacts do not require it to remove dormant or inaccurate profiles.

The language of the agreements "in no way requires Match.com to police, vet, update the website content" or verify the accuracy of profiles on the site, the judge wrote.

Jeffrey Norton, a lawyer for the plaintiffs at the law firm Newman Ferrara, in an e-mail said, "we are reviewing the decision and considering our options."

A spokesman for Match.com said it was pleased with the ruling, adding that it had always maintained that the allegations were "unfounded."

The lawsuit, which had sought class-action status on behalf of Match.com subscribers, was filed in 2010 by several users of the site.

The judge dismissed the plaintiffs' claims of breach of contract, and asked the plaintiffs to explain why he should not also toss out claims of deceptive trade practices brought under Texas law. He gave them until August 27 to respond and said if they did not he would dismiss that claim as well.

Other Internet dating sites also have faced similar consumer lawsuits. In 2007, Yahoo Inc agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of allowing fake profiles from people not interested in using the site for dating.

The case is Robinson, et al. V. Match.com, LLC, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 10-cv-02651

(Reporting By Nate Raymond; Editing by Martha Graybow and M.D. Golan)

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