Facebook has been sued by four companies regarded alleged anti-competitive practices, according to a report by Reuters.
The companies say that the social media giant removed developers’ access to its program in an attempt to hurt potential competitors.
The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for their suit as well as an unknown amount of damages. The suit was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“Facebook faced an existential threat from mobile apps, and while it could have responded by competing on the merits, it instead chose to use its might to intentionally eliminate its competition,” said Yavar Bathaee, a partner at law firm Pierce Bainbridge, and also a co-lead counsel in the case.
Facebook said it will litigate the suit in court. “In the current environment, where plaintiffs’ attorneys see financial opportunities, claims like this aren’t unexpected, but they are without merit,” a company spokesperson said.
Facebook has been in contention with smaller app developers that saw their companies thrive through access to user data. In 2012, Facebook stopped giving certain companies access, while granting it to others.
The company Six4Three, which developed a bikini photo app, filed a similar lawsuit against Facebook, and several troublesome emails have come to light due to that case. Facebook is also in the midst of a number of probes from government agencies.
In other Facebook news, the company is enthusiastic about augmented reality (AR) technology, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks it can help with social problems. He hinted that there would be a big breakthrough in AR in the next decade. The 2010s, he said, were mainly focused on the mobile phone, but he expects that the 2020s will see advances in virtual reality that could “redefine our relationship with technology.”
Facebook is currently working on augmented reality glasses.
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