‘Real’ Facebook founders fight back after unfair payouts

The real Facebook founders?

The real Facebook founders?

Three Harvard graduates who claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole the Facebook concept from them are appealing to re-open a $65m (£42m) legal settlement following the realisation that they have been deprived of millions of dollars.

Twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss along with Divya Narendra argue that Zuckerberg stole the idea from them whilst working for them during their time at Harvard University.

Zuckerberg, who won Time’s Person Of The Year award in December has always claimed to be the creator, and denies all claims of the three accusers.

Currently Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users, and Zuckerberg has been named as one of the world’s youngest billionaires.

Following years of legal wrangling, in 2008 Facebook agreed a $65m deal to put an end to the “rancourous litigation”.

However, the Winklevoss twins and Mr Narendra are appealing for the case to be heard again, following claims against Facebook for under paying them by millions.

The courtroom was told that the $65m deal included $20m in cash and $45 in shares; currently worth $140m.

Senior attorney for the three accusers, Jerome Falk said the stock was “based on a valuation of $36 a share.

“Facebook failed to disclose that at about the same time its board of directors had approved a valuation of $9 a share which was to be the basis of stock options for key employees. Facebook did not disclose this significant piece of information.”

Mr Falk further argued that his clients would have been awarded four times as many shares if the settlement had been based on the $9 figure.

The decision on whether the case will be heard again is expected to be revealed by April.

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