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Facebook Credits Violate Antitrust Law –Say Law Firms
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Facebook’s mandatory requirement for social game developers to use Facebook Credits has come under scrutiny and two law firms Newman Du Wors and Strange&Carpenter have announced that they are in the process of investigating the matter. The common argument seems that by denying choice to Facebook gamers in the matter of making payments Facebook may be violating U.S. antitrust laws.

Attorney Brian Strange and Derek Newman have gone ahead to launch a website called “Stop Facebook Credits” to raise public awareness on the issue. They argue that prior to the introduction of Facebook Credits and the mandatory requirement the virtual currency industry had a healthy competitive environment. Now, there’s not competition.

On their website, the attorneys say:

  
What
Where


Facebook is forcing game developers to use Facebook Credits in order to access its social-gaming platform. But Facebook originally told developers that this platform was completely free and that developers could keep the profits they earned. Facebook hasn’t followed through on its promise to game developers. Instead, Facebook requires all game developers to use Facebook Credits and pay Facebook a mandatory 30% cut of all consumer revenue. Game developers must also promise not to charge gamers less on any non-Facebook platform than they do on Facebook. Because developers don’t have a choice, Facebook can collect higher-than-normal fees for Facebook Credits and dictate the prices that developers charge gamers on and off Facebook. That’s unfair, and probably illegal.”

According to the law firms Facebok credits –

  • Cost developers millions of dollars in exorbitant fees
  • Blocks other virtual-currency providers from entering the competition and provide service for gamers on Facebook
  • Denies the gaming public the presence of a competitive market

The firms have put out their offer to the public that if anyone hires them to fight cases on their behalf on the issue, they won’t have to pay unless the case succeeds.

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Previously, the use of Facebook credits has already been heavily criticized by U.S. public interest group Consumer Watchdog which had filed an antitrust complaint with the FTC. Three months ago, Facebook settled issues with the FTC without any specific mention of Facebook credits.

Facebook takes 30 percent of all revenue earned by developers through Facebook credits.





 

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