Let bygones be bygones, right?
Ahead of Facebook's
Even Facebook was rather perplexed by the move, since it had considered the pair's relationship mostly copacetic up until that point, saying Yahoo! had "substantially benefited from its association with Facebook." It did the same thing to Google ahead of the now-dominant search engine's offering in 2004 and was able to extract some dollars and shares out of Big G back when it was Little G, totaling approximately $201 million.
The suit also proved to be a painful reminder to Facebook that it needed to beef up its patent portfolio for defense and offense, as it had also countersued Yahoo! It then dipped into tech's unofficial armory, buying roughly 750 patents from IBM
According to All Things D, the two companies have now agreed to a truce and are settling the infringement lawsuit. Facebook and Yahoo! are now expanding their existing partnership, which will include joint ad sales and patent cross-licensing.
The suit was instigated by ex-CEO Scott Thompson, who has since stepped down because of the whole fudging-your-resume-to-become-the-CEO-of-a-multibillion-dollar-company thing. Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, who is likely to soon drop the "interim" from his title, led the settlement talks with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
If the two companies hadn't settled, they would be looking at a long, drawn-out, and costly legal battle that would probably burn bridges, so the settlement will benefit both Facebook and Yahoo!, especially if they can turn it into top-line upside.
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Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and Google, creating a synthetic long position in IBM, and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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