(Reuters) – Facebook Inc. may have paid $ 4.9 billion more than the maximum penalty imposed under a settlement agreement with regulators related to allegations of the privacy of the abused users, according to a court ruling on Wednesday.
The information was made public by a Delaware judge who picked it up from a "white paper" prepared by a law firm that advised Facebook's board when they discussed a proposed $ 5 billion solution with the Federal Trade Commission. That agreement also protected CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights at the Court of Chancery quoted the newspaper as Gibson Dunn's lawyers in his decision urging Facebook to hand over documents to shareholders trying to determine if Facebook overpaid to protect Mr. Zuckerberg.
"The documents already produced provide no insight into why Facebook would pay more than its (obviously) maximum exposure to resolve a claim," Judge Slights said in the decision. Shareholders, he said, "had the right to question whether internal communication between Facebook managers can shed light on the board's thinking in this regard."
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The agreement from July 201
Judge Slights said that Facebook received a maximum penalty of about 104 million dollars, according to the newspaper Gibson Dunn.
The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Joel Fleming, a lawyer for Facebook shareholders, told Judge Slights during a hearing last year that before suing the FTC settlement, they wanted to know: is personally responsible?
Judge Slights refused to order the company to hand over documents that Facebook said were protected by attorney-client privilege, in part because the judge e said shareholders could gain insights from non-privileged electronic communications he ordered to be disclosed. Catalog