Winklevoss twins end appeal of Facebook settlement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Olympic rowing twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court a ruling upholding their $65 million settlement with Facebook Inc and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, signaling the possible end of the long-running dispute.

Cameron Winklevoss (L) and brother Tyler Winklevoss leave the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a hearing on a settlement dispute with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in San Francisco, California January 11, 2011. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

The 2008 accord was intended to resolve a feud over whether Zuckerberg stole the idea for what became the world’s most popular social networking website from the Winklevosses, who like him had attended Harvard University. Their battle was dramatized in the 2010 film “The Social Network.”

After agreeing to the cash-and-stock accord, the Winklevosses sought to undo it, saying it was fraudulent because Facebook hid information from them, and that they deserved more money.

The 6-foot 5-inch (1.96-meter) twins, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had been planning to appeal an April 11 ruling by a federal appeals court in San Francisco upholding the settlement, which that court called “quite favorable.”

But in a filing on Wednesday with that court, the Winklevosses said that after “careful consideration,” they decided not to seek Supreme Court review. The filing did not give a reason for the decision.

Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 in his Harvard University dormitory room.

The California case had been brought by ConnectU Inc, which the Winklevosses set up with another Harvard student, Divya Narendra, who joined in Wednesday’s filing.

Facebook, in a statement, said: “We’ve considered this case closed for a long time, and we’re pleased to see the other party now agrees.”

Jerome Falk, a lawyer for the Winklevosses and Narendra, did not immediately return requests for a comment.

Wednesday’s filing clears the way for Facebook to seek the dismissal of a related lawsuit filed in Boston federal court.

Analysts have estimated that Palo Alto, California-based Facebook could be worth $70 billion or more should it conduct an initial public offering, perhaps in early 2012.

Facebook could be worth more than $100 billion in an IPO, CNBC television estimated last week.

The case is Facebook Inc et al v. ConnectU Inc et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 08-16745.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon and Carol Bishopric