Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has 31 million users, turned down a $1 billion offer from Yahoo! (looking for $10 billion or better) and faces a lawsuit that might make it all worthless. Zuckerberg is accused of stealing the idea behind Facebook from founders of rival site ConnectU back at Harvard. ConnectU asked for Zuckerberg’s programming help and claim he stalled his work so that he could launch essentially a site cloning their idea.
Now stealing the idea for a ten billion company isn’t like a college room mate borrowing a pair of vintage Air Jordans and not returning them. The thing is that Facebook has a lot of money now. Even if the plaintiff is telling the truth and can prove it, they may not have the money to hire the legal fire power to get the job done. (The original suit was thrown out a few years back on a techniality.)
Plus, from Facebook’s perspective they don’t need the expense of a serious drawn out lawsuit. That all spells a potential settlement.