A California Court of Appeals recently found that Tinder’s practice of charging users over the age of 30 an additional $10 for premium services violates the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Unfair Competition Law. The court rejected Tinder’s argument that its pricing model was not discriminatory because it based pricing on market research which shows that users under 30 have less means to pay for premium services and therefore require a discount. Although certain age-based pricing structures have been upheld in the past, the appellate court held that Tinder’s pricing model is discriminatory because it employs an “arbitrary, class-based, generalization about older users’ incomes as a basis for charging them more than younger users,” and Tinder did not provide compelling public policy justifications for the alleged discriminatory pricing.

TIP: When targeting discounts and promotions to select consumer segments, companies should be aware of laws such as California’s Unruh Act, which provides broad protection against, among other things, arbitrary discrimination based on personal characteristics such as age.