Millionaires & Billionaires

Billionaire property squabbles

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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When it comes to territorial creatures, billionaires may rank right up there with grey wolves and tigers.

Two disputes in California stemming from billionaire property disputes show that for today's rich, privacy and territory may be the ultimate luxury.

The first involves Mark Zuckerberg. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury-News, a California real-estate developer is suing Zuckerberg claiming the billionaire Facebook CEO breached a property contract.

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A local developer, Mircea Voskerician, had agreed to buy a piece of property behind Zuckerberg's home for $4.8 million. Zuckerberg didn't want development around his house, so he paid Voskerician $1.7 million to give up the right to the property, and then another $4.8 million to buy it from the owner.

Zuckerberg wants his privacy
Zuckerberg wants his privacy

All told, Zuckerberg spent a total of $43 million to buy four properties around his house in 2012 and 2013 to secure his privacy.

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Voskerician said that as part of his deal, Zuckerberg agreed to introduce him to other rich people who might buy real estate. But, he said, Zuckerberg never followed through. Zuckerberg's attorney calls the suit "meritless."

Meanwhile, a little north in San Francisco, billionaire Vinod Khosla is in court after blocking public access to a popular beach in front of his property, according to an article in The Los Angeles Times.

In 2010, Khosla—who co-founded Sun Microsystems—paid $37.5 million for two properties along Martin's Beach and a private road that had long been used for public access to the beach. After the purchase, he locked the gate on the road.

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The Surfrider Foundation sued, claiming it violated state coastal law. When questioned by Surfrider's attorney, Khosla said he didn't recall any conversations with his property manager about closing access to the beach before buying the property.

The Surfrider attorney said he was "dumbfounded" that Khosla "cannot seem to remember a thing."

To read the full article about Zuckerberg, click here.

To read the full article about Khosla, click here.

—By CNBC's Robert Frank.