By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Oops, Facebook. I know you wanted to keep the details of your settlement in the ConnectU lawsuit under wraps, especially since it reveals your actual appraisal of how much your privately held stock is worth, and you even went so far as to get the judge to throw out all the reporters… but the cat’s out of the bag.
According to the “confidential” court transcript, available online on sites such as Justia but redacted to hide the super secret parts, Facebook told Microsoft during investment negotiations that it was worth $35.90 a share, but that may have been a little off… more like $8.88. Microsoft then relied on the larger number when doling out a settlement related to ConnectU (a social networking site that allegedly stole Mark Zuckerberg’s idea) and afterward claimed that it was misled, but a judge enforced the settlement anyway.
So Facebook may have wanted to keep those numbers under its belt, but the method of redaction apparently involved pasting a white rectangle over the text in the PDF. Not to be deterred, an Associated Press reporter cracked that top-notch security with… copy and paste.
I bet there’s a legal intern in that courthouse wishing he (or she) had used a big black marker (or at least read this NSA document).