Why the C.E.O. Behind Match.com and Tinder Took a Stand on the Texas Abortion Law
Match.com and Tinderella are still operating as normal during the period when the Texas abortion law is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014. After the law passes, they’ll shut down. Here’s why:
1. The State vs. C.E.O.: Match.com has a history of taking a stand on the issues it discusses online. The most compelling example is this comment on its C.E.O. blog on March 3, 2006, when the company revealed that it had been operating under a policy of “inappropriate advertising” of its paid memberships: “We don’t think you should be made to feel uncomfortable by reading a few blog posts about a subject unrelated to your interests or work. The amount of advertising on this blog is already too overwhelming.” It’s still a rule that they’re enforcing today.
2. Texas is a Big State with a Lot of Money: Match.com has a lot of customers – more than 20 million worldwide. It has a lot of money. It also has a lot of power. There are two kinds of large companies that have a lot of money and can shape public policy:
1. Very large companies that dominate their markets. The dominant companies use their power to impose their will. They have political muscle. They can hire lobbyists to fight regulations and taxes. They can invest in organizations that lobby on their behalf.
2. Independent and small companies. These companies have no political muscle. They’re more independent and don’t have lobbyists. They make their money by providing a good service at a fair price to their customers. The service they provide doesn’t include political lobbying. They don’t spend money to create public awareness of issues. That’s left to political lobbyists.
3. Texas is not a large company. Match.com has less than half a million users in the United States. Texas is not a dominating company. It doesn’t even dominate the gay dating market. Its gay dating site, Manhunt, has approximately 400,000 members. Texas doesn’t have a dominant position in other markets. It doesn