Facebook ordered to pay nearly $5M fine for copying Italian app

Facebook ordered to pay nearly $5M fine for copying Italian app
© Getty

An appeals court in Milan on Tuesday ordered the tech giant Facebook to pay 3.8 million euros ($4.7 million) for copying an app made by an Italian company.

A judge in Milan found that Facebook had copied the “Nearby” feature created by Italian software company Business Competence for its app “Faround,” Reuters reports. The app uses geolocalization to let users know of nearby restaurants, clubs and shops.

The court’s decision on Tuesday upheld a 2019 ruling, Reuters notes, and increased the amount of damages from an initial 350,000 euros to 3.8 million.

ADVERTISEMENT

A spokesperson for Facebook told Reuters, “We have received the court’s decision and are examining it carefully.”

The Hill has reached out to Facebook for further comment regarding the court’s decision.

In 2019, Facebook paid a reported $5 billion settlement in a deal with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to close an investigation into the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The fine was slammed by lawmakers as being too soft of a punishment for the company.

Facebook is currently facing a lawsuit from the U.S. government that threatens to force it to break up. The social media website, which also owns Instagram, is accused of making acquisitions to decrease competition and worsening the quality of options for consumers.

The FTC and 48 state and territory attorneys general have proposed forcing the tech giant to divest its assets like Instagram and Whatsapp.