Harvard pair say they’ve been hoodwinked by Facebook

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the Harvard twins embroiled in a long running legal spat with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have announced that they are to gamble their $65m settlement in the pursuit of more millions.

Facebook shelled out $25m in cash and $45m in stock (now valued at $140m) based on an individual share value at the time of $36 for the original settlement.

But the pair allege that the firm neglected to disclose that its own board of directors had valued the stock at $9 a share, meaning the shares issued as a result of the settlement were only a quarter of what they could have been.

Now the claimants are to rekindle the dispute when they undo their original settlement to pursue further damages and an apology from Zuckerberg for, allegedly, pilfering their idea for what has become the world’s largest social network.

Facebook, which was recently valued at $50bn, dismissed the claims as nothing more than a case of “settler’s remorse”.

Should the claimants win they will stand to win a much greater sum, but if they lose they will forfeit everything.

Ironically the Winklevii are targets of a separate lawsuit brought by Wayne Chang, a former partner. Chang claims to have been “backstabbed” in the same manner as the Winklevosses say they were treated by Facebook after he was excluded from the settlement deal. His file sharing service formed a key part of that payout.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.