At the moment it is the center of a splendid legal case being sorted out in the United States. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg allegedly stole the idea for the social networking site from his former employer Harvard Connect (now ConnectU).
Later Facebook was sold to Microsoft and now it appears to have decided it wasn’t worth anywhere near the $15 billion market value implied in a 2007 investment made by Microsoft.
A Facebook appraisal discussed in court last year put the value of the social network at $3.7 billion, which is something less than the valuation based on Microsoft’s 2007 investment. (Indeed, it is a lot less.)
Associated Press cracked the electronic versions of blacked-out court documents for which, in journalistic circles, they get a lot of plaudits.(This happen a lot with PR releases that come in Microsoft Word. Getting back to the original rubbish is very easy and sometimes most revealing.)
The appraisal, which was used to set the value of employee stock options, came up during a closed court hearing in a lawsuit by someone who said Facebook had nicked his idea.
In the Washington Post it explained the case. What is at stake here is a settlement with Divya Narendra and twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of social net ConnectU.
The settlement calls for $20 million in cash and 1,253,326 shares of common stock which might make the settlement worth anywhere from $31 million to $65 million.
Legal publication The Recorder reported that Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, the law firm originally representing the twins, published a brochure bragging about the confidential $65 million settlement obtained in the case. And this when they no longer represented them. Who would trust lawyers and who would trust accountants? In this case they both screwed up big time.
Finally, Facebook ain’t what it used to be if it ever was.
With great care and after a lot of work it has been removed from all six computers in this office. Not because social sites are inherently a good or a bad thing. You can use it to keep in touch with your loved ones although why not use email to do the same thing wonders me.
But the major problem is that Facebook is a very easy way to advertise a product. And we were being flooded. So we wiped it off every computer, which takes several hours.
Now it is legally agreed Facebook was not worth the totally daft sums Microsoft paid for it. A real valuation would, of course, be guesswork. More than 35 cents, for sure. But not that much more.