The long and short of the story, is that the court, after scrutinizing not only the Memorandum, but also the wordings of the press releases and other documents that Getty Oil and Pennzoil had issued over the course of their dealings, found Getty Oil to be "in breach" of the Memorandum of Agreement _ the document the parties had viewed as a letter of intent. Thus, a document (the letter of intent) that the parties had started out viewing as non_binding and unenforceable, had changed from being that, to being a final agreement! Pennzoil, on the other hand, ended up with บǒ billion (later settled for ū billion) from Texaco for interfering in its deal with Getty Oil.
"My advice [to parties contemplating having an LOI] is to proceed with caution before signing any such document. As a general rule (and there are exceptions), I urge the parties to go right to the final documents and "dot all of the I's and cross all of the T's," rather than go through this interim step of a letter of intent, which has many potential traps."