Facebook sidelines contested Merck profile page

Nov 29, 2011
Facebook will sideline a Merck page at the social network until a pair of US and German companies work out which one gets the online address, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.

Facebook will sideline a Merck page at the social network until a pair of US and German companies work out which one gets the online address, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.

German pharmaceutical and chemical firm Merck KGaA last week called for answers from California-based Facebook after losing control of the www.facebook.com/Merck page at the leading social network.

The group was "very surprised" to discover that its Facebook page contained information on a similarly named US company, according to Merck KGaA spokesman Gangolf Schrimpf.

"The transfer of the vanity URL Facebook.com/Merck from Merck KGaA to Merck & Co. was due to an administrative error," Facebook told AFP on Monday. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Merck KGaA has lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court of the State of New York setting out its intention to take legal action against Facebook.

"Because Facebook is an important marketing device, the page is of great value to Merck and its misappropriation is causing harm," said the complaint.

The Merck Facebook page will be unavailable until the vying companies agree which should get it, the source told AFP.

Both Mercks are free to create new Facebook pages titled in ways that reflect the names of the companies.

In March, 2010, the German firm signed a deal with for exclusive rights to the page but was astonished to find in October this year that it had lost administrative control and page content related to US competitor .

The two firms are distantly related, but have been legally separate entities since the 1919 Treaty of Versailles after World War I when the group was split in two as part of a reparations package against Germany.

Explore further: Putin signs law seen as crimping social media

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Merck says US rejects its MS drug

Mar 02, 2011

German pharmaceutical group Merck KgaA said Wednesday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to approve use of its multiple sclerosis treatment Cladribine.

Facebook launches page for journalists

Apr 06, 2011

Facebook has launched a media resource page to help journalists use the social network as a reporting tool and better connect with their audience.

Facebook sued for $1 billion over Intifada page

Apr 02, 2011

Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages over a page on the social network which called for a "Third Intifada" against Israel.

Merck's Vioxx cases drag on

Aug 21, 2007

Lawsuits related to the painkiller Vioxx have little prospect of resolution for the thousands who have sued the drug company Merck, it was reported.

Recommended for you

Putin signs law seen as crimping social media

5 hours ago

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law requiring Internet companies to store all personal data of Russian users at data centres in Russia, a move which could chill criticism on foreign social networking ...

User comments : 0