The sealed legal settlement between Facebook and ConnectU over allegations that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole the code and idea for the social networking site from his Harvard classmates has been leaked - on a marketing brochure for the legal firm that represented ConnectU.
The number that was supposed to stay a secret: $65 million. Of course, that's just an estimate of the settlement, which was a mix of cash and Facebook stock.
John Quinn, chairman of the firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges asked The Recorder, a legal news site that first reported the leak, to not publish the amount, citing the confidentiality of the deal. The firm no longer represents ConnectU and instead is in engaged in a battle over fees owed. The two sides are now in arbitration.
A settlement of $65 million in nothing to sneeze at but it's also not a huge deal when you consider Facebook's valuation - even if it's no where near the $15 billion that was once attached to it. One IP lawyer told law.com that, because the amount is such a small percentage of the company's value, it "could be argued by Facebook to be a payment based on considerations other than the merits of the claims."