Italy's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Italian startup defeats Facebook in David v Goliath court case

Share this article

Italian startup defeats Facebook in David v Goliath court case
File photo: Loic Venance/AFP
12:56 CET+01:00
Facebook has been forced to drop a feature which helped users discover their friends' locations, after a court ruled that it had copied an app created by a Milan start-up.

The social media giant was found to have violated copyright laws with its Nearby feature, which allowed users to locate any Facebook friends in their area.

But the app was extremely similar to a rival, an app called Fa-round, created by Milan-based software developers Business Competence. The company specializes in digital platforms, including social network Dogalize, specifically aimed at pet-lovers.

The court found that Facebook had launched its own location-finding feature shortly after Faround was added to the Facebook app store, resulting in a drop in download numbers, and subsequent loss of earnings, for Business Competence.

In the ruling, Milan judges ordered Facebook to suspend the Nearby feature on their Italian site or face a daily fine of 15,000 euros. Facebook complied with this order, though it is appealing the decision.

The court issued the ruling in August 2016, but Business Competence only made it public on Monday, ahead of a second hearing planned for April.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

VIDEO: Three surprising facts that will make you want to visit Malta

Game of Thrones has ended but it lives on in Malta! Find out how and learn two more unexpected facts about this little archipelago in the middle of the Med.