Japanese social games company Gree and telecommunications firm KDDI have filed a joint lawsuit against DeNA, claiming that the social game developer and operator of the Mobage mobile social network is in violation of Japanese antitrust law.
The lawsuit alleges that DeNA failed to list links for games featured on its Japanese social network Mobage Town if the developers behind the games also appeared on Gree’s network. According to Gree, the company filed a cease and desist order against DeNA back on June 9, claiming that this represented unfair business practices as stipulated by the Japanese FTC.
“These illegal acts have not only hampered our business but have had a negative impact on other elements of the internet industry such as social game developers and telephone carriers,” Gree said in a statement. “Considering that this is still impacting many companies, we feel that this is a major barrier to ensuring a fair, competitive business environment.”
DeNA, meanwhile, has denied the allegations.
“It has been reported that Gree and KDDI Corporation have filed a lawsuit against DeNA Co., Ltd. regarding claims that DeNA violated Japan’s antitrust law,” the company said in a statement, “unofficially” translated from the original Japanese. “No contact had been made by the two companies to DeNA regarding the reported matter until today.
“Since DeNA has not received the official statement of complaint, it is unable to confirm its content at this moment. The two companies issued a press release that reads as if DeNA has been violating the antitrust law, but there is no such fact.”
In addition to being two of the largest social games companies in Japan, Gree and DeNA, which is the parent company of San Francisco-based social games company Ngmoco, are both preparing to launch major mobile gaming social networks worldwide, as well.