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Update: Owner Settles Lawsuit With Santa Clara DA Over Subscription Renewals

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – The parent company of and other major online dating services has reached a $2 million settlement with several district attorney's offices in a consumer protection lawsuit.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, along with DA's offices in Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara counties and the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office, sued Match Group for allegedly charging customers for automatic renewal without express consent.

"As with dating, consumers may not want to commit to a lifelong paid web service," Rosen said Thursday.

The lawsuit alleged the company's online signup processes failed to inform customers that they were enrolling in an automatically renewing service and did not secure affirmative consent, as required by law. Prosecutors also claimed that Match Group violated California law by not informing consumers how to cancel and that the canceling process was "lengthy and tedious."

"Companies need to make sure it's just as easy to opt out of their services and it is to opt in," Rosen said.

As part of the settlement, Match was ordered to clearly disclose its automatic renewal terms, get affirmative consent before charging for automatic renewal, along with emailing customers a payment confirmation that clearly includes the terms for renewal.

Match Group is also ordered to allow customers to easily cancel services, including online, upon request.

The company did not admit wrongdoing, prosecutors said.

Along with, Match Group owns several online dating services including PlentyOfFish, OKCupid and Tinder.

UPDATE (7/12/21) Match Group released this statement to KPIX 5:

We will always invest in new technologies and work to improve our platforms to make them more informative and user-friendly. While we believe that our cancellation process is very simple and that the notice we provide to users on renewals fully satisfied California's Auto-Renewal law, we have agreed to take additional steps to make the renewal notice even more clear. We continue to work with CART, as we do all lawmakers and regulators, to ensure that we follow all applicable guidelines.

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