As Bloomberg West reported, a very detailed analysis of M-Cam shows that Facebook might be in trouble, as Amazon is holding basic social network patents since their acquisition of PlanetAll back in 1997. Hence Facebook might use intellectual property without any permission.
An interesting side kick here, PlanetAll was founded by a group of Harvard Business School and MIT graduates. Didn’t Mark Zuckerberg attend Harvard? Nevertheless it is very remarkable how Jeff Bezos of Amazon very early on saw the potential of a more social e-commerce.
In addition to that Yahoo stepped forward and also claimed that Facebook uses patents it holds, as the New York Times reported on Monday.
Now the interesting questions are:
1. Why did Amazon and Yahoo step forward now?
2. What is their intention?
Of course this opens a wide field of speculation. At the end it all will boil down to the question is their intention to close down Facebook or (more likely) put pressure on Facebook so that Amazon as well as Yahoo will be more integrated into the Facebook environment: One is an experienced e-com partner who wants to stay relevant and the other is a content site that needs to stay relevant if it wants to survive.
Interesting story to follow…