Social networking sites are not always agents of friendship; they sometimes intensify rivalries. German drugmaker Merck KGaA has taken Facebook to court after discovering what its lawyer described “the apparent takeover of its Facebook page”.
The web page is being used by the German firm’s US rival Merck & Co. Both the drugmakers stem from the same firm set up in Darmstadt in 1668. The business was split after World War I as part of the reparations package imposed on Germany.
Merck KGaA said the social network “is an important marketing device”. Its spokesperson told BBC that Merck KGaA had entered into an agreement with Facebook for the exclusive rights to www.facebook.com/merck in March 2010, following which many employees of the German firm were assigned administrative rights to the page. But on October 11, they found Merck KGaA had lost control of the page. A Facebook spokesperson said, “We are investigating the matter.”
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