Tags: Buffett | NCAA | bracket | contest

CNNMoney: Buffett's $1 Billion NCAA Bracket Contest Ends in Acrimony

By    |   Monday, 16 March 2015 07:40 AM

The media went into a tizzy last year when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Yahoo and Quicken Loans teamed up to offer $1 billion to any person who correctly predicted the outcome of all 64 games in the NCAA basketball tournament.
 
Nobody won the pool last year — no one even guessed all 32 first round games correctly. But the only excitement this year is over lawsuits related to who generated the original idea, CNNMoney reports.
 
The legal brouhaha began in 2014, when SCA Promotions, a small sweepstakes company, sued Yahoo for allegedly reneging on a deal for a perfect bracket contest with SCA.
 
Yahoo countersued, charging SCA with giving confidential information to Berkshire when it sought insurance to pay the $1 billion in case a contestant beat the overwhelming odds against winning.
 
Yahoo sent subpoenas to Berkshire in February asking for information about its interaction with SCA, including all communication between Buffett and SCA, according to court documents, CNNMoney reports.
 
Berkshire then asked a judge to nuke the subpoenas, calling them "unduly burdensome."
 
Meanwhile, though it's unclear whether Buffett would term Berkshire's involvement in the contest a mistake, his willingness to admit errors he has made is a strong virtue, says
 
"One business leader who has no problem detailing his mistakes is Warren Buffett. He regularly does it in his annual letter to shareholders," Skapinker writes.
 
"This year's marked the golden anniversary of his and Charlie Munger's control of Berkshire Hathaway so he dredged up 50 years of mistakes. They included investing in dying textile companies and seeing acquisition 'synergies' evaporate."
 
A recent example is Berkshire's investment in the troubled British grocer Tesco. But Buffett doesn't let himself off the hook, citing "thumb-sucking," "childish behavior," and "I simply was wrong."
 
Acknowledgement of mistakes is important, because it allows executives to reduce them and to make clear that business isn't easy, Skapinker explains.

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The media went into a tizzy last year when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Yahoo and Quicken Loans teamed up to offer $1 billion to any person who correctly predicted the outcome of all 64 games in the NCAA basketball tournament.
Buffett, NCAA, bracket, contest
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2015-40-16
Monday, 16 March 2015 07:40 AM
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