Antitrust Investigation Initiated on Facebook’s “Virtual Currency”

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Two prominent law firms are investigating Facebook’s virtual-currency system known as Facebook Credits. They believe that, by forcing users of its online gaming platform to use only Facebook Credits, Facebook may be in violation of U.S. antitrust laws which prohibit this type of tying two products together.

“Illegal tying occurs when one company dominates an area of commerce with a product and then forces customers to accept another product in order to use the first,” said attorney Derek Newman.

In 2011, Facebook announced it would allow no other virtual currency on its dominant social-gaming platform. Millions of social-game players suddenly had no choice but to purchase Facebook Credits. Game developers were forced to incorporate the system, and virtual-currency providers lost the largest customer base in the world.

Mr. Newman along with L.A. attorney Brian Strange launched a web site at StopFacebookCredits.com to bring public attention to the fact that, before Facebook Credits, the virtual currency industry enjoyed a healthy competitive environment that is now almost dead.

“Virtual-currency companies, game developers, and the entire social gaming community are paying higher prices and receiving fewer services,” said Mr. Strange. “Concerned citizens can learn more and take action against this practice on our Stop Facebook Credits website.”

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