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Alex Kozinski Winklevoss Twins

Judge: Twins can’t back out of Facebook settlement

12 Apr, 2011

The U.S. Appeals court tells the twins they must abide by their settlement with Facebook (Judgement PDF). The twins, along with ConnectU co-founder Divya Narendra, accepted their $45 million of stock at a price that valued Facebook at $15 billion but they later learned that Facebook’s board had adopted an internal valuation of just $3.7 billion. Had this lower valuation been used, the Winklevoss twins would have received more Facebook shares in the settlement. However, Judge Alex Kozinski ruled:

Kozinski: 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. And the courts might have obliged, had the Winklevosses not settled their dispute and signed a release of all claims against Facebook. With the help of a team of lawyers and a financial advisor, they made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity.

For whatever reason, they now want to back out. Like the district court, we see no basis for allowing them to do so. At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached.