Facebook ordered to pay $4.7mn in damages for copying features from Italian app
The appeals court directed the company to compensate the startup for copying a feature that allowed users to find friends in the area.
Facebook has been ordered by a Milan-based appeals court to pay 3.83 million euros (or $4.70 million) in compensation to a software startup in Italy for allegedly copying features from the app developed by the company, according to a report by Reuters.
The Italian court upheld a 2019 ruling that had previously directed the social media company to pay 0.35 million euros in damages to Italy-based Business Competence for copying the popular ‘Nearby' feature from their app called ‘Faround' which helped locate their friends around the neighbourhood, the news agency reported on Tuesday. However, while upholding the order, the appeals court set the amount to be paid as damages at 3.83 million euros.
According to an older report, the Faround app which was launched by Business Competence in 2012 became popular in the country but faced stiff competition from the social networking site when it launched its Nearby feature shortly after. The company had then filed a suit against Facebook, following which a court had ruled that the Nearby feature would have to be discontinued in Italy.
According to the report, the social networking platform had suspended the location-sharing feature in Italy after the local court had ruled that it had violated competition and copyright laws by copying the features from the company's app. The company had alleged that Faround and Facebook's Nearby feature were extremely similar in their functions.
A Facebook spokesperson told Reuters that they had received the court's decision and were examining it carefully.