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Monday, April 11, 2011

Facebook Hollywood Saga Comes to An End: Winklevii Twins Lose in Court

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 12:51 PM

click to enlarge The only thing the Winklevosses can't buy ... Facebook
  • The only thing the Winklevosses can't buy ... Facebook

The notorious Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler -- who sued Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he ripped off their social networking idea to launch Facebook -- have lost another round in court with the Zuck.

After the twins signed a deal with Zuckerberg that gave them cash and a tiny piece of Facebook, the preppy duo tried to back out of that agreement in January, alleging that Facebook didn't accurately value their shares.

In other words, they wanted more money. A lot more.

The Olympic rowers, known for their eccentric style (they wear man purses) and bickering,

decided that they should get an extra $100 million from the deal

after a Goldman Sachs private equity deal had set Facebook's total worth at $50 billion.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. The court panel ruled today that the brothers had failed to prove that Zuckerberg had committed securities fraud.

"The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in Monday's ruling. "The courts might have obliged had the Winklevosses not settled their dispute and signed a release of all claims against Facebook."

The twins had accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for a social networking site while the three attended Harvard together. The Winklevosses had brought Zuckerberg on board  to help start their site, ConnectU. Zuckerberg then took the idea and started Facebook in 2004. The Winklevosses sued Zuckerberg, a drama that was depicted in the 2010 movie The Social Network

"At some point litigation must come to an end, and that point has now been reached," Judge Kozinski said Monday.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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