After seven years of court cases, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are dropping the case against Facebook founder Marc Zuckerburg. While the twins showed discontent and seemed ready to take the case to the Supreme Court, they decided to remain content with the previous settlement.
The initial court case against Facebook and the CEO Marc Zuckerburg began when Facebook became a popular social networking website. The Winklevoss twins, who were former classmates of Zuckerburg, claimed that the idea for Facebook was stolen from them.
The case persisted until 2008, when the Winklevoss twins and Facebook agreed to work out a settlement.
In 2008, the Winklevoss twins were awarded with a $65 million settlement. The settlement provided $20 million in cash and $45 million in private company stock. At the time of the settlement, Facebook was valued at approximately $15 billion.
After receiving the settlement amount, the Winklevoss twins appealed the settlement on the basis that some information regarding Facebook was not disclosed that would have added almost double the value to their settlement until after the twins signed the paperwork and the settlement was completed. As a result, the twins were disappointed with their settlement amount and felt that it should have been more. The Winklevoss twins and their lawyer opened a new case to appeal the original $65 million settlement, feeling that they were given false information and made a poor decision as a result.
The case pushed forward through the appeals courts until it reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the settlement would remain intact at $65 million and that the twins would not receive more.
While Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss seemed likely to continue their appeal, taking the case to the Supreme Court, their lawyer filed a brief to the court saying that the twins would not continue their case against Facebook.
Facebook representatives issued a statement that the company already considered the case closed and that they were happy to see the Winklevoss twins reach the same conclusion.
Facebook considered the case completed upon the completion of the original settlement, so the company is glad that the twins have dropped the case and do not wish to pursue their charges further.
In the end, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were awarded $65 million worth of money and company stocks. The estimated value of the original $45 million in stocks has now risen to more than $100 million dollars.
As the value of Facebook continues to grow beyond $70 billion, their stock should increase more, raising the value of the settlement higher as a result. Though the settlement supposedly stopped at $65 million from a $15 billion company, the addition of stock to the company leaves endless potential for further gains.
Furthermore, the court cases have led to the production of a movie, “The Social Network.” The movie based on the Winklevoss twin’s claims was Oscar nominated and showcases the interesting story behind the former Harvard students.