Yahoo to pay $5.5 million over billion-dollar contest with Quicken Loans

by Ryan Smith23 Aug 2017

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.

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