Huffington Post

Huffington Post: 9,000 contributors were seeking compensation from the site

Nine thousand unpaid Huffington Post bloggers have lost their legal bid to receive a share of the $315 million that AOL paid for the site last year.

The bloggers were seeking compensation of $105 million - a third of the sale price - arguing that the site unfairly profited from their work.

However, a US district judge has dismissed the case, saying in his judgment that the bloggers had no right "to change retroactively their clear, up-front agreement".

New York judge John Koeltl said in his ruling: "Quite simply, the plaintiffs offered a service and the defendants offered exposure in return, and the transaction occurred exactly as advertised. The defendants followed through on their end of the agreed-upon bargain.

"That the defendants ultimately profited more than the plaintiffs might have expected does not give the plaintiffs a right to change retroactively their clear, up-front agreement. That is an effort to change the rules of the game after the game has been played, and equity and good conscience require no such result."

The Huffington Post said in a statement given to digital media site PaidContent: "This judgment removes any question about the merits of this case and we look forward to continuing the mutually beneficial relationship we share with our growing roster of interesting, dedicated and engaging bloggers.”

AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million (£195 million) last February, in a deal that saw site co-founder Arianna Huffington lead a new group overseeing all of AOL's editorial content.

Huffington, who co-founded the Post with communications executive Kenneth Lerer in 2005, took the title of president and editor-in-chief of the new Huffington Post Media Group, which brings together all Huffington Post and AOL content including sister sites such as TechCrunch and Engadget.

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