Facebook is facing another lawsuit for anti-competitive behavior related to the use of virtual currencies in its social gaming ecosystem.
The company is accused of superimposing Facebook Credits, its native virtual currency, on game developers. The suit was launched by Social Ranger, a company that helps provide gamers with virtual currency through PayPal and credit card payments. The virtual currencies can be used to purchase items such weapons in games like Zynga’s Mafia Wars.
When Facebook saw how much developers were making, it allegedly created Facebook Credits and imposed their use in place of the several Social Ranger-provided currencies previously used. Social Ranger says that the alleged monopolization “destroyed” viable competitors and resulted in “billions of dollars” in unfair gains for the social networking giant.
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The social gaming market in the US has been valued at over $5 billion for 2015. Facebook reportedly reaped $200 million from the sector during the first quarter of 2013.
In October 2012, a similar suit was launched by virtual-currency and payment-processing provider Gambit.
Facebook recently allowed for the integration of ChangeTip, which facilitates tipping in cryptocurrency, on its platform. However, Changetip did acknowledge to users that “this is not the experience you have been expecting, but it is the best we are able to do given the limitations in working with Facebook’s platform.”