Legal wrangle follows AOL's multi-million-dollar buyout of influential blog network in September
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Here at Askvisory.com, we’re huge fans of TechCrunch. In fact, I’ve often said “I’d give my right arm to get an interview with TechCrunch”. I just hope AOL enables TechCrunch to maintain its ‘coolness’. I mean, do you believe AOL is still cool? (the sound of you “you have mail” out of the old AOL, would drive someone nuts in the age of SPAM and social notifications)
The agenda-setting technology blog TechCrunch looks set to take centre stage in a courtroom battle between two of its high-profile founders.
Jason Calacanis, a former partner at TechCrunch, is suing Mike Arrington, the founder of the blog. The lawsuit comes less than two months after AOL acquired TechCrunch in a deal thought to be worth about m (£15.5m).
Both parties have been publicly gearing up for a legal showdown for some time, with Calacanis claiming to have been “screwed” out of the TechCrunch conference business, TechCrunch50. Naturally, Arrington contests this.
Arrington revealed Calacanis’s intention to sue in a TechCrunch post last week, giving his take on the motivations. “In a nutshell, he wants part of the proceeds from our sale to AOL,” Arrington surmised.
But Calacanis has now finally spoken at length about his litigation, claiming to have never been paid for his half of the limited liability company that he and Arrington supposedly created. He said:
“I created the idea for the TechCrunch50 conference, and pitched Mike to do it. Mike and I created an LLC that TechCrunch and I each owned half of, and for three years we produced the conference together. AOL purchased the conference as part of their deal for Techcrunch, but I never got paid for my half.
“Mike took TechCrunch50 and re-branded it as TechCrunch Disrupt, and a valuable property I created and owned half of became part of a sale to AOL. When I work on a business and create lots of value, it’s just simple fairness that I would be recognized when it is sold.”
A positively mealy-mouthed assertion, compared to previous dispatches where Arrington has been both “a trainwreck” and “a sociopath”.
Arrington, who is no stranger to legal threats, is yet to post his latest riposte at the time of writing. Calacanis postscripted his announcement with the news that a brand new conference, hosted in the same venue as the disputed TechCrunch50, will take place in February. All eyes will be on San Francisco then.
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