Accusations Fly in Zango, Epic Cash Dispute

Nikki Tang
SEATTLE — The legal battle between online advertising company Zango Inc. and affiliate program Epic Cash continues to intensify as both sides actively counter one another with legal actions and accusations.

The dispute began when Epic Cash filed suit against Zango and the owners of AdultFriendFinder.com on Aug. 26 for unfair business practices, among other things, on the grounds that Zango’s “wrongful display” of pop-ups and other advertisements “blocked content on [Epic Cash’s] websites for the purpose of promoting Zango’s clients, who offered services directly competitive to [Epic Cash’s],” according to Epic Cash’s complaint.

Zango responded with a counter-lawsuit, and Epic Cash submitted a motion to the U.S. District Court in Seattle on Nov. 21.

Epic Cash’s motion, which was submitted through its representative law firm, Kaufman Law Group, requested that the court dismiss Zango’s complaint and “allow Epic Cash to litigate its claims in the proper forum against all proper defendants,” according to the motion.

“Zango filed this action basically just to get a hometown advantage,” Colin Hardacre, associate trial attorney for Kaufman Law Group, told XBIZ. “It’s just a real case of home-court litigation tactics. It’s really transparent in that effect. It’s almost sham-pleading.”

The motion also holds that Zango filed its action not only for forum shopping purposes, but also “to win the race to the courthouse and gain precedence in time and forum.”

Zango originally countered the Epic Cash lawsuit to defend its position, according to Steve Stratz, a spokesman for Zango.

“We are confident that Epic Cash’s case is baseless and its claims are without merit,” Stratz told XBIZ. “To demonstrate that belief and the fact that we will defend our position and business vigorously, we filed suit seeking declaratory judgment against Epic Cash.”

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