March 27, 2012 in Business

Facebook claims plaintiff fraud

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Attorneys for Facebook sought the dismissal Monday of what they called an “opportunistic and fraudulent” lawsuit by a New York man claiming half-ownership of the social networking site.

The attorneys asserted that Paul Ceglia, of Wellsville, had forged documents, fabricated emails and destroyed evidence, and said he had waited too long – six years – to file it and the statute of limitations had expired.

Ceglia’s attorneys say their client deserves his day in court.

In his 2010 lawsuit, Ceglia claimed a 2003 contract he and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg signed entitled Ceglia to 50 percent of Facebook, which launched the following year.

Ceglia said the contract showed that when he hired Zuckerberg to help him develop a street-mapping database, he also gave Zuckerberg $1,000 in startup money for his fledgling Facebook idea in exchange for half-ownership of the company if it grew.

Zuckerberg countered that he hadn’t even conceived of Facebook at the time.

‘Hunger Games’ may fill Lions Gate profits

LOS ANGELES – Lions Gate Entertainment seized a pot of gold.

When the film and television production company bought Summit Entertainment in January, the deal brought bankable teen franchises “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” under one roof.

The first of four planned “Hunger Games” films broke the record for a non-sequel over the weekend with a $153 million haul in the U.S. and Canada. That beat expectations and gave it the third-highest opening weekend ever. And the “Twilight” finale is set for release in November.

These two movies could generate about $450 million in profit combined, Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz estimates. The adventures of bow-wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen alone could translate to six to seven years of higher earnings, Creutz said, adding that Lions Gate may post its first profit in five years for the fiscal year that ends March 31.

BMW recalls cars because of defect

FRANKFURT, Germany – BMW AG is recalling 1.3 million 5- and 6-series cars from the 2003 to 2010 model years.

The company says that in rare cases a battery cable covering in the trunk was incorrectly installed.

The defect could prevent the car from starting and in extreme cases could lead to a fire. BMW says it knows of no accidents or injuries from the defect.

The company said owners will be notified by letter and that the repair should take about 30 minutes.

The recall affects 290,000 cars in Germany and 1.3 million worldwide.


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