Facebook paid out $65 million in cash and stock options to settle its lawsuit with ConnectU, formerly Harvard Connect, earlier this year. The details of the settlement were supposed to be sealed, but ConnectU’s law firm for the case, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, mistakenly published the settlement in a marketing brochure. Whoops!
“In 2008 Quinn Emanuel Remained A Great Investment…” the brochure reads, “It’s Our Opponents Who Needed A Bailout.” The brochure details various large court settlements from last year. About midway down the page the brochure says, “Won $65 million settlement against Facebook.”
The news was broken by legal newsletter, The Recorder, and a copy of the marketing brochure is available here. According to the report, Quinn Emanuel may not have needed financial rescue, but it did attempt a public relations bailout. The firm asked The Recorder not to publish the settlement figure, citing an agreement to seal the settlement details.
The report also says that ConnectU and Quinn Emanuel are in the middle of their own dispute over the law firm’s bill. Quinn Emanuel wants $13 million for the settlement, but ConnectU refuses to pony up. The two parties are now in arbitration in New York.
ConnectU’s primary complaint against Facebook was that founder Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for FB from ConnectU founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Zuckerberg worked for ConnectU, then called Harvard Connect, before starting Facebook.
Neither Facebook nor ConnectU have commented on the settlement leak.