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Does Snapchat Really Get Sued So Much?

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Snapchat recently disclosed it paid $157.5 million to an ousted founder, a relatively small price to pay for a company that was valued at $25 billion when it went public.

The disclosure prompted speculation about "why Snapchat gets sued so much." But is that really true, or is that an example of muddy downstream media -- recycled mainstream media stories sprinkled with a little speculation?

It's hard to say, but we know that Snapchat is no Uber when it comes to lawsuits. Here are some comparisons:

Snapchat Suits

In the founder's suit, Reggie Brown alleged that he came up with the idea for Snapchat and that his co-founders ousted him. They settled with him four years ago, but the details just became public in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the filing, the company also divulges that it settled another case and has one pending lawsuit. One -- since 2013.

"The matter is currently in active discovery," Snapchat reported. "We believe that the lawsuit is without merit and intend to continue to vigorously defend ourselves in this matter."

Other than a privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2014, that is not exactly a lot of litigation.

Uber Suits

Uber, on the other hand, eats lots of lawsuits. It certainly sees more complaints than Snapchat and probably most startups.

The company settled its lawsuit with Waymo last week, agreeing to pay the self-driving car enterprise about a quarter billion dollars. And that's only 2018, so far.

Last year was worse. With civil, criminal and class-action matters pending, Uber's founder quit under pressure from investors.

Since 2012, Uber's legal department has grown from 1 to more than 225. According to Bloomberg, federal court appearances for the company increased in one year from 7 to more than 75.

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