Harvard Twins Lose Appeal to Quash Facebook Settlement

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It’s the saga no one knew or cared much about until David Fincher’s The Social Network turned up the volume: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hoodwinks fellow Harvard students (and twins) Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss out of millions in Facebook profits. The twins sue and win some of those millions in a settlement. But it turns out those multimillions aren’t enough (translation: Facebook “misrepresented” the stock value at time of settlement), and so the twins appeal to have the settlement “undone” so they can go after mo’ money.

So much for try-try-again. A federal appeals court ruled today that a settlement’s a settlement–no do-overs for the Winklevoss twins, who the court said knew what they were getting into when they buried the hatchet with Facebook in 2008.

That settlement for $8.88 a share brought them an estimated $20 million and partial ownership of Facebook itself, a deal estimated to be worth $65 million. Not bad for roughly four years’ litigation.

But not good enough for the Winklevoss twins, who claim they wouldn’t have settled if they’d known the “true” stock value, allegedly four times higher. Next up: A possible Supreme Court appeal, though I can’t imagine the country’s highest court would deign to bother.

Interestingly, with Facebook now valued at $50 billion, the Winklevoss’s settlement clocks in at upwards of $160 million. I realize from a legal standpoint it’s all relative, but try telling that to the rest of us, who’ll be lucky to make just one or two million over the full course of our working lives.