Zillow Group is forking over $130 million to settle a lawsuit with competitor Move Inc. related to the alleged theft of trade secrets after Zillow hired away two former Move executives in 2014.
Move and the National Association of Realtors filed a suit against Zillow in 2014, after former Move executives Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley left the company for the rival real estate listings database operator.
After Samuelson left Move to join Zillow in March 2014, Move announced Beardsley as his replacement – only for Zillow to announce less than two weeks later that they had hired Beardsley as well, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While the lawsuit initially claimed roughly $1.8 billion in damages, the court eventually reduced that damage claim to around $1 billion, and a securities filing on Monday said that the parties had reached an “amicable resolution” to the matter that contains no admission of liability or wrongdoing.
The National Association of Realtors will receive 10 percent of the settlement proceeds after the deduction of Move’s legal fees, according to News Corp., which owns Move.
Samuelson and Beardsley were accused conspiring to steal trade secrets from Move before leaving for Zillow, as well as deleting emails and destroying evidence from their work computers at Move. Samuelson claimed in court that he was attempting to wipe private information detailing his personal health and medical history. [WSJ] – Rey Mashayekhi