Earlier this month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott objected to the proposed sale of True.com, saying the sale would violate a privacy pledge the site made to its 43 million members when they signed up for the dating service.
Now the would-be buyer -- PlentyofFish -- says the deal is off and its CEO and founder, Markus Frind, says he finds Abbott's objections ridiculous.
“The fact that the Texas AG stopped one dating site from buying another dating site without user consent is like asking all Twitter users to approve its IPO,” Mr. Frind said, the Wall Street Journal reported.
True, based in Plano, Texas, has been in bankruptcy for more than a year and has been trying to sell its assets and go out of business. But what's its biggest asset? That's right -- its database of 43 million members.
Frind had offered to pay $700,000 for the troubled site but, writing on his personal blog, he said the deal wasn't important enough to justify a huge legal bill to fight the Texas complaint. And he said the site's not worth much without the database.
“Who in their right mind is going to buy a dating site with 43 million members if you are not allowed access to those members?” Frind asked on his personal blog.
Plenty of friends
PlentyofFish, by the way, has a pretty good privacy record, from all appearances. It lets users restrict what kind of people can contact them and gives users plenty of space to post photos and write about themselves.
Perhaps most significantly, PlentyofFish is free. It makes its money from advertising instead of from fees charged to its members. It is mentioned in passing in numerous negative reviews of other services on ConsumerAffairs, like one from Nancy of Garfield, Ohio.
While complaining about the fees charged by eHarmony, Nancy said: "Take what you like from this, but if you ever want to meet an actual person and have an actual DATE, try OKCupid or plentyofFish. Just bring your asbestos shorts, ladies, they all think we are all desperate. REALLY."
While complaining about Match.com, Matt of Falls Church, Va., commended PlentyofFish and OKCupid, another free site, for blocking profile spam: "[They] block ip addresses from scammer havens and have much lower volumes of fake profiles compared to Match.com. But Match, a subscription service, is replete with scam artists."
So, whether it's for the best or not, it's true that True.com members won't be getting plenty of new friends from PlentyofFish.