Zillow shares jump 7% following $130 million settlement over trade secrets

Spencer Rascoff ZillowCourtesy of ZillowZillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.

A week before trial was set to begin, Zillow has reached a $130 million settlement with News Corp’s Move Inc. and the National Association of Realtors.

The deal brings about an end to a two-year long legal battle over trade secrets that could have cost Zillow as much as $1.8 billion in damages, according to The Seattle Times.

The lawsuit centres around two former Move executives, Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley, who were hired by Zillow in what Move called a “very regrettable act of executive poaching.”
Move alleged that Samuelson and Beardsley stole trade secrets and attempted to destroy the evidence after the fact, and that Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia, another online residential real estate site, in February 2015 was Samuelson’s idea. Move’s Realtor.com is a competitor of Zillow’s, and the Trulia acquisition “created a giant” in the industry.

In the filing, Zillow agreed to pay Move $130 million but did not admit to any “liability, wrongdoing, or responsibility.”

Zillow shares were up 9 per cent in after-hours trading Monday and were still up more than 7 per cent when the markets opened Tuesday.

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