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Facebook faces antitrust suit from advertisement-sponsored skins developer

John Ribeiro | March 20, 2012
Sambreel Holdings and two subsidiary companies that offered advertisement-supported skins for Facebook profile pages filed Monday an antitrust lawsuit against the social networking company in a U.S. federal court, its attorneys said.

The law firm also said it filed a motion for preliminary injunction before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to prevent Facebook from requiring Sambreel's advertising partners to boycott Sambreel and to prevent Facebook from scanning the computers of users, and forcing them to uninstall Sambreel's applications before they are allowed access to their Facebook accounts.

The plaintiffs hold that PageRage does not alter the programming of Facebook's computers or interact with its computers in any manner. Instead, PageRage operates by adding layers to the web browser residing on its users' computers, the complaint said. The designs added by PageRage are visible only to individuals who have installed the Yontoo Platform and enabled the PageRage application, it added.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Kelly Law Firm in Tempe, Arizona, described PageRage as adware in a blog post in October. PageRage does not make actual changes to Facebook's site itself when it changes the social networking site's appearance on participating users' computers, and merely tweaks the way that Facebook looks when using a particular browser, it said. "It appears unlikely, then, that Facebook would have any grounds for legal action against PageRage's developers," the law firm added.

 

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