Facebook in $65 million classmate payout

Facebook settlement revealed
Facebook settlement revealed

Details of the settlement between Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and three of his former classmates have come to the surface more than six months after the original court case in July.

It seems that a total of $65 million (c£45 million) was paid out to three former associates of Zuckerberg who alleged that he had stolen the idea, technology, design and business plan behind Facebook while they all were studying at Harvard University.

PR fail

Facebook began as an internal social-networking site for Harvard students, before it became the internet phenomenon it is today. The three classmates are founders of rival Harvard university social network Harvard Connect (now ConnectU), a rival site that Zuckerberg used to work for.

While ConectU is still up and running it pales in comparison to the popularity of Facebook.

The exact payout was meant to remain secret but according to the Guardian, but a PR firm working for ConnectU's lawyers Quinn Emanuel let slip the details in a newsletter yesterday, under the not-too-subtle title: 'WON $65 million settlement against Facebook'.

Peter Calamari, a lawyer representing ConnectU, spoke to The Los Angeles Times about the incident, explaining: "Our PR people released something, and it didn't get caught by the people who knew.

"We had a policy against commenting or talking publicly about this case."

'Had' being the operative word.

Via Associated Press

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.