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Federal appeals court upholds 2008 Facebook settlement

As noted in a previous post, three former Harvard colleagues of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been continuing to pursue litigation against Zuckerberg even though they settled a lawsuit against him in 2008.

Twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narenda claimed that Zuckerberg had stolen the idea for Facebook from them while they were all students at Harvard. The twins had hired Zuckerberg to work on their fledging social networking site, ConnectU, but they said Zuckerberg stalled on his projects and then launched Facebook alone.

The Winklevoss twins and Narenda settled their case against Facebook in 2008. In the settlement, they agreed to stop pursuing claims against Facebook. They were also given a share in the company. The three plaintiffs decided to file suit again, however, when Facebook’s value soared.

The twins and Narenda claimed that Zuckerberg and Facebook’s attorneys misled them about the true value of Facebook. Facebook’s attorneys counter-argued that it was the plaintiffs’ responsibility to calculate the value of the company. Facebook was worth about $65 million when the case was settled, and now it is estimated to be worth more than $50 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Times, the federal appeals court judge who wrote the decision said that eventually “litigation must come to an end.” He said that the end point had been reached. He noted that it was understandable that the plaintiffs wanted to reap some benefits from the successful company their competitor had created, but their settlement agreement said that they agreed to stop making claims, which was enforceable.


Appeals court upholds Facebook deal from 2008 (Los Angeles Times)

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