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: A Closer Look: Your (online) life after death

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

A Closer Look: Your (online) life after death

11 hours ago

Sure, you have a lot to do today—laundry, bills, dinner—but it's never too early to start planning for your digital afterlife, the fate of your numerous online accounts once you shed this mortal coil.

Web filter lifts block on gay sites

11 hours ago

A popular online safe-search filter is ending its practice of blocking links to mainstream gay and lesbian advocacy groups for users hoping to avoid obscene sites.

Protecting infrastructure with smarter CPS

18 hours ago

Security of IT networks is continually being improved to protect against malicious hackers. Yet when IT networks interface with infrastructures such as water and electric systems to provide monitoring and control capabilities, ...

Apple helps iTunes users delete free U2 album

Sep 15, 2014

Apple on Monday began helping people boot U2 off their iTunes accounts after a cacophony of complaints about not wanting the automatically downloaded free album by the Irish rock band.

Habitual Facebook users: Suckers for social media scams?

Sep 15, 2014

A new study finds that habitual use of Facebook makes individuals susceptible to social media phishing attacks by criminals, likely because they automatically respond to requests without considering how they are connected ...

YouTube to go offline in India on Android phones

Sep 15, 2014

YouTube users in India will soon be able to save videos from the Google-owned service, making it possible to watch them offline, and the feature will eventually be available globally, the company said Monday.

User comments : 0