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Tuesday
Apr122011

Judge Rejects Twins' Bid to Undo Facebook Settlement with Zuckerberg

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Much to their dismay, the Winklevoss twins didn't get the Facebook deal breaker they were hoping for on Monday.

In 2004, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, along with Divya Narendra, sued their former Harvard University classmate Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole their idea for creating the social networking site Facebook.  At the time, Zuckerberg countersued the trio, alleging they stole data and spammed users by hacking into Facebook to enhance their own site, ConnectU.

Four years later, the Winklevoss twins and Narendra agreed to a $65 million settlement in cash and stock from Facebook but then tried to undo the deal, claiming that Zuckerberg misrepresented the stock's value.

After one judge upheld the 2008 decision, federal appeal Judge Alex Kozinski ruled Monday that the allegedly wronged trio must live with the settlement they made with Zuckerberg.

"They made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity," wrote Kozinski, who also declared, "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."

The judge also noted in his decision that the twins were "sophisticated parties" who "brought half-a-dozen lawyers to the mediation."

While Facebook hasn't gone public yet, it's expected that the initial public offering that might come next year may be the largest in history.  The social networking site is now believed to be worth at least $50 billion, possibly two or three times more.

The Winklevoss twins say they plan to appeal Monday's ruling.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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