The US homepage on March 14, 2008
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online dating service
Registration Yes
Owner IAC/InterActiveCorp
Launched 1994
Alexa rank decrease 317 (November 2011)[1]
Current status Active is an online dating company which reportedly has more than 20 million members, made up of a 49/51 male/female ratio,[2][dubious ] and Web sites serving 25 countries in more than 8 different languages. Its headquarters are in Dallas, Texas and the company also has offices in West Hollywood, Tokyo, Rio, and Beijing. is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp and employs more than 340 people worldwide. has nearly $342.598 million in revenue and 1.3 million paying subscribers.[3]


History was founded by Gary Kremen in 1993. It was started as a proof-of-concept for Electric Classifieds which aimed to provide classified advertising systems for newspapers. Early on, Kremen was assisted by Peng T. Ong, who helped design the initial system, and Simon Glinsky, who helped develop one of the first Internet business plans for and provided management and marketing expertise. The initial business scope developed by this team included a possible subscription model, now common among personals services, and inclusion of diverse communities with high first trial and market leaders status, including women, technology professionals and the LGBT community. Fran Maier joined in late 1994 to lead the business unit where she significantly bolstered the strategy to make friendly and accessible to women (the men would then follow).[4] went live in early 1995 as a free beta. It was first profiled in Wired Magazine in 1995.[5]

In 1998, was purchased by Cendant. A year later was purchased by IAC/InterActiveCorp (then still operating under the name TicketMaster). In late 1999, was moved to Dallas, Texas, to merge with another matching site, One & Only networks, that IAC/InterActiveCorp had purchased the same year.

Between September 9, 2004, and April 24, 2007, Jim Safka was the Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Enraght-Moony was the CEO from April, 2007 to February 19, 2009.[6]

On February 19, 2009, divested its European operations to Meetic. Following the divestment, Greg Blatt, an Executive Vice President and General Counsel of IAC/InterActiveCorp, was named CEO of[7] Mr. Blatt retains the title of EVP of IAC/InterActiveCorp but has stepped down as its General Counsel.

On May 24, 2010, became the exclusive provider of online dating service for Yahoo! via the formation of a co-branded site, " on Yahoo!".[8]

In November 2004, Guinness World Records recognized as the largest online dating site in the world. At the time, more than 42 million singles globally had registered with since its launch in 1995, and worldwide there were over 15 million members using the service.

In late 2005, in the United States entered into a strategic partnership with Dr. Phil on a new US marketing campaign called "MindFindBind", a monthly subscription program that members can pay an extra fee to access.[9]

In December 2006, the layout of the United States site was redesigned, to go in line with the newly launched series of black and white TV advertisements in the US featuring members.

It was announced in February 2009 that's European operations was sold to Meetic for 5 million Euros and a reported twenty-seven percent interest in the company.[10] At the same time that this sale was announced, the current CEO Thomas Enraght-Mooney stepped down, while IAC's ('s parent company) Executive VP and General Counsel, Greg Blatt, took his place.[11] competitors today include eHarmony, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, and[12]

MatchLive and MatchTravel

In 2002 and early 2003,'s then CEO, Tim Sullivan, tried to expand reach by expanding into the local dating scene with a service called MatchLive. Daters would meet in a public location sponsored by People would be involved in social activities and a form of speed dating together. The idea was scrapped by the parent company. Shortly afterwards, IAC fired Tim Sullivan as acting CEO, and laid off 30 people in the Dallas office involved with the MatchLive brand.[13] The company stated that it planned to refocus its operation moving forward on on-line dating instead of hosting singles and speed-dating events.

MatchTravel was an attempt about the same time as the MatchLive brand to offer discounts via the then sister company Expedia, Inc. to daters meeting on The service was rescinded shortly afterward.


On November 10, 2005, a class action lawsuit was filed by Matthew Evans against in federal court in Los Angeles alleging that "secretly employs people as 'date bait' to send bogus enticing E-mails and to go on as many as 100 dates a month - or three a day - to keep customers ponying up." The suit has been repudiated by IAC as baseless. The suit was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 25, 2007.[14][15]

A class-action lawsuit filed in June 2009 accuses of matching customers with people who are non-paying customers or who are not customers at all. has said that the suit is without merit.[16] According to the complaint, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, represented by attorney Norah Hart, "Match misleads paying subscribers by charging them for the ability to write e-mails to members who can't reply to their e-mails or even read them."[17]

A woman claiming she was raped by an other person she met on is currently trying to sue the site. The man who allegedly raped her was registered in public sex offender registries. The woman and her lawyer want to start checking their users background in order to prevent sex offenders. has responded that it would create many problems trying to get background information from all their users.[18][19] Days after the lawsuit was filed, announced that the site would begin screening new members against the national sex offender registry.[20]

Current criticisms focus on their policy of automatic membership renewal via automatic credit card billing, unless the customer has specifically canceled the service. Cancellation can be done online or users must phone a call centre to cancel billing. In addition, arbitrary account suspensions (without refund) due to suspicion of Terms of Service violation have been reported.[21]

IAC Personals is the leading brand in the division of the IAC/InterActiveCorp known as IAC Personals. Other brands in the IAC Personals sphere include:

Brands retired by IAC Personals include:

  • & - Free Dating Experiments (Retired May 2010)
  • One and Only (brand retired in Dec. 2005)
  • AltMatch (brand retired in Dec. 2005)
  • MatchLive - localized singles meeting event coordination division of (brand retired in May 2003)
  • MatchTravel - a collaboration between then IAC child company Expedia (brand retired May 2003)

See also


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  2. ^ "Compare Online Dating". Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  3. ^ IAC 2009 Annual Report, February 26, 2010
  4. ^ LOVE'S LABOR LOST / Online matchmaker still seeks love, money
  5. ^ Krieger, Todd (September 1995). "Love and Money". Wired. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Albo, Bonny. " Review". 
  10. ^ Brooks, Mark (April 2009). "Love is In the Air". Online Personals Watch. 
  11. ^ Brooks, Mark (February 2009). "IAC Appoints Greg Blatt CEO of". Online Personals Watch. 
  12. ^ O'Reilly, Lara. "Zoosk takes on and eHarmony in the UK". MarketingWeek. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Welcome to Corporate Site[broken citation]
  15. ^ New York Daily News - Home - Call 'em Match.con
  16. ^ Eric Tordenson, Dallas-based accused of misleading customers, Dallas Morning News, June 10, 2009
  17. ^ Sean McGinn, et al vs. LLP, Case 1:09-cv-05328-SWK Document 1 Filed 06/09/2009
  18. ^,6.msg10.html
  19. ^ Time. April 15, 2011. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ User complaints about business practices

External links


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