The Seattle online real-estate company had been incurring high legal expenses fighting the case, in which two executives it hired away from Move Inc. were accused of allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Zillow, the Seattle online real-estate information company, will pay $130 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that two executives it hired from rival Move Inc. stole trade secrets.
The settlement, disclosed in securities filings Monday, ends more than two years of litigation and removes the threat of a much larger financial blow to Zillow, the largest consumer real-estate web portal.
Silicon Valley-based Move, which is owned by News Corp., said it was seeking as much as $1.8 billion in damages.
The lawsuit stems from Zillow’s hiring of two ex-Move executives in 2014. Move sued Zillow less than two weeks after Errol Samuelson joined the Seattle firm as chief industry-development officer. Move filed a separate suit after another executive, Curt Beardsley, followed Samuelson.
Most Read Business Stories
- Amazon execs, in leaked memo, sought to tar fired employee who organized coronavirus walkout
- Boeing offers buyouts to cut workforce for 'different-sized' market after coronavirus pandemic
- Boeing weighs widebody jet cuts, plans buyouts on ‘new reality’
- Once restarted, post-coronavirus economy might enter unprecedented rough seas
- Good news, bad news for the unemployed as Washington agency tries to ramp up amid flood of claims
Much of the attention in the dispute turned to Zillow’s July 2014 acquisition of rival Trulia, a $2.5 billion deal that created a giant in the business of online home-price information and advertising. Move’s Realtor.com and its other websites compete in that field.
Move said in a lawsuit that Zillow used confidential information from Samuelson to inform its acquisition of Trulia. Zillow denied that, saying it had been trying on its own to buy its rival since 2006.
The subsequent legal wrangling, and public comments by executives at both companies, had the rivals poised for a potentially nasty trial, which was set to start this month.
In separate statements, Zillow and Move said the settlement was an “amicable resolution” and that they intended to put the dispute behind them. Both companies declined to comment beyond the statements.
As part of the settlement, neither company admitted wrongdoing.
The deal stops Zillow’s expensive flow of legal bills. The company said it spent $15.7 million on its court battle with Move during the first three months of 2016. At the time, the company projected costs related to the suit to rise to between $18 million and $20 million during the current quarter.
The National Association of Realtors, which was a party to the suit along with Move, will receive 10 percent of the settlement proceeds, after deduction of Move’s litigation costs and fees. Move will keep the rest.