Bloomberg News

Winklevoss Twins Abandon U.S. Supreme Court Facebook Appeal

June 23, 2011

(Updates with Boston lawsuit in sixth paragraph.)

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, former Harvard University classmates of Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, said they won’t ask the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a settlement of their claims that Zuckerberg stole the idea for the world’s most popular social-networking site.

The Winklevoss twins said last month they would appeal a lower-court ruling that left the 2008 accord intact. Their lawyers said in a filing yesterday at the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco that “after careful consideration, they have determined that they will not file a petition” with the nation’s highest court.

The brothers lost a bid in May to get a full appeals court review. They argued that a three-judge panel erred in April when it dismissed their claims that the settlement should be voided because it was procured through fraud.

They alleged that Palo Alto, California-based Facebook didn’t disclose an accurate valuation of its shares before they agreed to the $65 million cash and stock settlement. The appeals court ruled that the accord barred future lawsuits and was “quite favorable” to the twins.

Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook, said yesterday “We’ve considered this case closed for a long time, and we’re pleased to see the other party now agrees.”

In a separate lawsuit in federal court in Boston, the Winklevoss twins are seeking to uncover whether Facebook and Zuckerberg “intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence,” according to a court filing in that case today. The complaint in Boston also claims Zuckerberg stole the brothers’ idea for Facebook.

Noyes didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the Boston court filing.

The case is The Facebook Inc. v. ConnectU Inc., 08-16745, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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