A contest in which Yahoo partnered with Quicken Loans and Berkshire Hathaway has left the internet company owing $5.5 million after a lawsuit, while the mortgage lender appears to have escaped unscathed.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Yahoo must pay $5.5 million to SCA promotions after the internet giant backed out of a contract to pay $1 billion for predicting every winner in the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament and then entering a similar contract with Quicken Loans and Berkshire Hathaway, Reuters reported. The court ruled that half of the $11 million contract was due to SCA as a cancelation penalty. SCA had kept Yahoo’s initial $1.1 million deposit, so the appeals court ordered a payment of $4.4 million.
Quicken and Berkshire announced their “Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge” just three weeks after Yahoo and SCA signed the contract, according to Reuters. Yahoo quickly signed on as co-sponsor.
Yahoo had argued that SCA improperly leaked the details of the contest to Berkshire in a bid to find insurance for the prize, according to Reuters. However, the circuit court’s three-judge panel rejected that argument.
No one won the top prize in the 2014 contest.