paidContent - Social Net Identity Service Power.com Countersues Facebook

This story was written by David Kaplan.
A company that was sued by Facebook last December is trying to turn the tables. Brazilian-based Power.com, a social net identity aggregator, claims to be defending users’ rights to transfer their data to third parties, the company told paidContent. That may sound noble, but the company appears to be more interested in defending its business model, which involves storing users’ passwords for Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Orkut. The service sounds a lot like Facebook Connect, which Power.com says is one of the reasons the social net may have first tried to stop the company in December for what it said was fraud, copyright infringement and interfering with Facebook’s relationship with its users. (The earlier complaint is here, via NYT).

In February 2008, Power.com raised an $8 million first round from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Esther Dyson. When it started to deploy its system on Facebook a few months later, the social net asked it to cease and desist. Facebook said Power.com agreed to stop including Facebook users in its services, though it pleaded for time to wind it down. Power.com said it had no such agreement. Facebook claimed that Power.com sent Facebook users a message meant to look as if it came from the social net’s administrators, asking them to share their data, and so, Facebook filed its suit.

Asked to comment on Power.com’s legal action, Facebook rep Barry Schnitt called the company’s claims “baseless,” adding, “we will fight them vigorously, while continuing to pursue our initial complaint to protect our users.”


By David Kaplan