Facebook reckoned that it had a market value of about $3.7 billion in an appraisal conducted after it sold a 1.6 percent stake to Microsoft that implied a value of $15 billion for the social networking outfit, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press discovered Facebook's own assessment in court documents. What's really comical is the way the AP found Facebook's appraisal, which was mentioned in a June hearing as a long court battle with ConnectU was winding down. ConnectU sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the social networking concept from three classmates.
The AP says:
Facebook fought fiercely to keep the details of its market value and the ConnectU settlement under wraps. Before last June's hearing, Facebook lawyers persuaded Ware to remove reporters from a San Jose courtroom so the final details could be hashed out in private.
Large portions of that hearing are redacted in a transcript of the June hearing, but The Associated Press was able to read the blacked-out portions by copying from an electronic version of the document and pasting the results into another document.
Now there's a trick worth trying out on future redacted parts of court documents.
In any case, Facebook's valuation still remains a bit of a mystery. ConnectU, which settled with Facebook for $20 million and 1.25 million shares, obviously wanted the Microsoft valuation of Facebook at $15 billion so it would get more dough. Facebook was low-balling.
And today Facebook is most likely worth less than its appraisal.