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Lawyers in $20 Million Facebook Accord Seek $7.7 Million

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for Facebook Inc. users who negotiated a $20 million settlement with the social network company over claims that it used subscribers’ names without their permission are seeking $7.7 million in fees.

California attorneys Robert Arns and Jonathan Jaffe, who represented five Facebook users suing over the free service’s practice of using subscribers’ names without their permission to advertise products in its “Sponsored Stories,” said the fee was fair given relief provided in the settlement and the risks they undertook to achieve it, according to a court filing.

Facebook users can claim a $10 payment and the company agreed to make changes allowing subscribers to opt out of sponsored stories, according to filings in federal court in San Francisco. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, also agreed to revise its terms of use so subscribers can more easily see when they’re being shown as endorsers of products and games for which they clicked a “like” button.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg gave preliminary approval to the settlement. He refused to approve an earlier settlement that included no money for users and $10 million in fees for the attorneys.

The case is Fraley v. Facebook Inc., 11-cv-01726, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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