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Facebook hit with lawsuit over plan to issue new stock

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A Facebook Inc shareholder filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Friday in a bid to stop the company’s plan to issue new Class C stock, calling the move an unfair deal to entrench Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg as controlling shareholder.

The lawsuit, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, followed the social networking company’s announcement on Wednesday of its plan to issue the shares.

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The rejiggering of Facebook’s share structure is effectively a 3-for-1 stock split. Zuckerberg’s said in December that he intends to put 99 percent of his Facebook shares into a new philanthropy project focusing on human potential and equality.

The lawsuit contends that a Facebook board committee which approved the share deal “did not bargain hard” with Zuckerberg “to obtain anything of meaningful value” in exchange for granting Zuckerberg added control.

In a statement, Facebook said the plan “is in the best interests of the company and all stockholders.” The company has said keeping Zuckerberg at the helm is key to its future success.

Facebook plans to create a new class of shares that are publicly listed but do not have voting rights. Facebook will issue two of the so-called “Class C” shares for each outstanding Class A and Class B share held by shareholders. Those new Class C shares will be publicly traded under a new symbol.

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Zuckerberg “wishes to retain this power, while selling off large amounts of his stockholdings, and reaping billions of dollars in proceeds,” the lawsuit said.

“The issuance of the Class C stock will, in effect, have the same effect as a grant to Zuckerberg of billions of dollars in equity, for which he will pay nothing,” it said.

Google settled a lawsuit in 2013 shortly before trial which cleared the way for that company to execute a similar plan.

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(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bernard Orr and Tom Brown)


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Giuliani’s Ukraine henchman once held a gun to man’s head and threatened to kill him if he told police: report

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Lev Parnas, one of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's henchmen who tried to help him pressure the Ukrainian government, has a long history of making death threats and associating with fraudsters, according to a new report from Politico.

According to Politico, a restraining order filed by a man who was once Parnas's landlord back in 2008 claimed that Parnas threatened to kill him after he asked him to vacate the apartment that he was renting.

"If you call the cops, they are not going to find you ever," Parnas told the man, according to the complaint.

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‘Increasingly likely’ Bolton will be hauled before House investigators over Trump’s Ukraine fiasco: report

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According to The Daily Beast, President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser John Bolton is "increasingly likely" to be subpoenaed by Democratic investigators in the House as part of the impeachment proceedings into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

Bolton, a longtime neoconservative war hawk, served in the role after Trump fired Gen. H. R. McMaster, but often clashed with the president on matters of national security and left the administration on bitter terms.

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Separate and unequal train service returns on Trump’s Amtrak

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Separate and unequal passenger rail travel is back at the behest of the Trump administration. Unlike the infamous 1896 Supreme Court decision known as Plessy, which denied African Americans travel in cars occupied by whites and relegated them to inferior rail cars, this new segregation is based solely on money.

Team Trump forced Amtrak to limit dining car access on four long haul routes to passengers who paid for roomettes. More routes will be affected in the future.

Those in the cheap seats are now barred from the dining cars.

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