Facebook was ordered to pay EUR 3.83 million (around $4.72 million) in compensation to an Italian developer over the “Nearby” function of the social network.
Reuters notes that the Milan-based appeals court upheld a decision in 2019 saying that Facebook copied the functionality from the Faround app of the developer Business Competence.
The case dates from 2012. That year, Faround was introduced by Business Competence to help users locate Facebook friends near their place. The app quickly gained ground in the Italian sector, as reported earlier by Reuters.
However, Facebook released its own Nearby feature only months later, which also competed with the likes of Foursquare and Yelp, and Faround downloads eventually plummeted.
By filing a complaint in 2013, the Italian software developer reacted, and Reuters announced that the court released a preliminary ruling in its favor in 2016, which was made public in 2017.
Although appealing the decision, Facebook decided to discontinue the feature in Italy, but subsequent courts sided with Business Competence.
A Facebook spokesman told Reuters in response to the decision that the company has “received the court’s decision” and is “analyzing it carefully.”