Two law firms, Newman Du Wors and Strange & Carpenter, want to launch a class-action lawsuit against the leading social network for requiring game makers to use Facebook Credits, possibly in violation of U.S. antitrust law.
The lawyers argue that everyone but Facebook loses from the arrangement: it freezes out other virtual currency makers, gouges game makers and cheats players who get passed on the high fees without being able to choose other options.
The two firms have authored a whitepaper on the subject and put it on a website along with a video that we’ve embedded below. The point of the site and whitepaper: the lawyers want to initiate a lawsuit, preferably of the class action variety.
The lawyers argue that Facebook Credits:
- Cost game developers tens of millions of dollars each month in excessive fees;
- Prevent every other virtual-currency provider from offering a competitive service for games on Facebook; and
- Deny the gaming public a competitive marketplace.
However, only those no longer relying on Facebook for business would likely want to join the suit, one of the partner attorneys, Derek Newman, said to The Register (Yes, he’s the one in the video).
Newman claims he’s already got one client signed up for the suit that’s lost $100 million since the social network instituted the Credits requirement July 1, 2011.
He argues that this requirement ties one service to another — games on Facebook have to use Credits as the currency — and that meets the definition of antitrust violation under the U.S. Sherman Act.