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Facebook suspends location-sharing feature in Italy

Facebook has suspended its location-sharing feature in Italy after a Milan court ruled last year that the social networking giant had violated competition and copyright laws by effectively copying a similar app from a local start-up.

Italian software developer Business Competence filed a lawsuit in 2013, accusing Facebook’s Nearby feature of having copied its Faround application, which helps users locate Facebook friends in the vicinity.

A copy of the court’s ruling, issued on Aug. 1 last year but only made public by Business Competence on Monday, said that Facebook launched its Nearby feature only months after Faround was included in the social network’s app store in 2012.

The complaint alleged that the two applications were “extremely similar” in their functions and general set-up.