The Winklevoss Twins, who sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly copying their idea for Facebook, have dropped their lawsuit and will accept their $65 million settlement.
The Winklevosses said that after careful consideration, they had decided not to seek Supreme Court review, according to a court filing.
They would accept the earlier agreed settlement, which includes $20 million in cash and $45 million in Facebook stock. However, the Olympic rowing twins didn't give a reason for their withdrawal.
But one of the key reasons would have been the surging valuation of Facebook, the most popular social networking site. Since their 2008 settlement deal, Facebook has grown exponentially.
According to the latest statistics, Facebook has more than 500 million active users and over 250 million are currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
Moreover, there are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.
So, the worth of shares held by Winklevosses would have also grown along with Facebook. The shares, which were then valued at around $45 million, would now be at least worth $150 million. This is possible as Facebook itself is valued at over $100 billion today.
Winklevoss twins - Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss - along with Divya Narendra, had claimed that their Harvard classmate Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook.
Facebook countersued them and their competing social networking site, ConnectU, in California, alleging that the Winklevosses and ConnectU hacked into Facebook to steal user data, and tried to steal users by spamming them.
In 2008, Winklevoss twins accepted a cash-and-stock deal worth $65 million. But later, the twins objected on the grounds that they'd been misled about the value of the shares they received.
At that time, Facebook notified the Winklevosses that an internal valuation prepared to comply with Section 409A of the tax code put the value of its common stock at $8.88 per share. The Winklevosses argued that Facebook misled them into believing its shares were worth four times as much, court filings show.
In April, the U.S. federal appeals court turned down a request by the Winklevoss twins to release them from their settlement.
The lengthy legal spat between Zuckerberg and his three Harvard classmates was immortalized in the 2010 movie The Social Network.
However, Zuckerberg cannot relax. Paul Ceglia, an American businessman, is after Zuckerberg, claiming 84 percent ownership of Facebook and seeking monetary damages.
Ceglia says he had a contract with Zuckerberg in April 2003 that gave him a 50 percent share of Facebook for his $1,000 investment, plus an additional 1 percent stake for every day Facebook was not online past Jan. 1, 2004.
Recently, Ceglia has passed a lie detector test that was focused on the authenticity of the 2003 contract with Zuckerberg.