Match Group stock slides after FTC sues the company for placing fake ads on its site

Key Points
  • The US Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Match Group, which owns Tinder, OKCupid and other dating sites. 
  • The FTC alleges that Match used fake love interest ads to trick consumers into buying subscriptions.
  • Match shares fell following the announcement. 
Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg on expanding into international markets

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday sued Match Group, the online dating service company that owns Tinder, OKCupid and other dating sites, alleging that it used fake love interest advertisements to trick consumers into buying paid subscriptions.

Shares of Match Group dropped as much as 7% on the news, before closing down about 2%. Match majority-owner InterActive Corp. shares were down 1.8%.

"We believe that conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers," said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

In a statement to CNBC, Match said, "For nearly 25 years Match has been focused on helping people find love, and fighting the criminals that try to take advantage of users. We've developed industry leading tools and AI that block 96% of bots and fake accounts from our site within a day and are relentless in our pursuit to rid our site of these malicious accounts. The FTC has misrepresented internal emails and relied on cherry-picked data to make outrageous claims and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against these claims in court."

--Reuters contributed to this report.