twins who have experienced previous legal struggles with the internet
are filing yet another lawsuit against the social networking site's
CEO claiming that a former friend had lied to them about the
2002, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, twins who attended Harvard
University with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, had started a
social networking site called HarvardConnection. After losing a
programmer for the site in 2003, the Winklevosses asked Zuckerberg to
join their team. Zuckerberg allegedly entered into an oral contract
with the twins and their partner, Divya Narendra.
the next two months, Zuckerberg began creating a social networking
site of his own called "thefacebook.com" while sending
e-mails to the twins stating that he had been busy as of late, but
was making changes to HarvardConnection. On February 4, he officially
launched thefacebook.com. Two days later, the Winklevosses had
learned about the
new site. Later in 2004, ConnectU, which was HarvardConnection's
new name, filed
a lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly stealing the idea
of ConnectU and for breaking oral contract.
even after winning a $65 million settlement in 2008, the twins
believe they are entitled to
more after a friend allegedly lied about the value of the
company. They also claim that Zuckerberg has committed securities
fraud. The legal papers were filed at the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California, and the case
"threatens to end in 'scorched Earth' litigation" if it
ends up going before a judge.
response to the allegations, Facebook claims that the twins are
dealing with settlers' remorse after the $65 million deal. The
company also noted that the previous settlement agreement "is
enforceable because it clearly communicated the parties' intention to
be bound and the terms were definite."
addition, Facebook's filing claims that the "twins admit that
they calculated the value [of Facebook] themselves, based upon a
truthful press release from several months earlier" and "their
fraud claim is based on omission; they fault Facebook for not
volunteering a more recent - and, they claim, lower - valuation of
different Facebook stock."
insist that their sworn enemy had some special duty to open its books
and volunteer any information that bears on the value of this closely
held company," Facebook's filing states.
twins have demanded an unspecified amount of additional money.