Facebook “bullies developers into selling up”
A developer has launched a scathing attack on Facebook over the company’s tactics in dealing with start-ups.
According to Dalton Caldwell, Facebook bullied him during discussions over the social network acquiring an iOS app and service that he had been developing for the Facebook platform.
During a meeting with Facebook to discuss support for his project, Caldwell claims he was offered a buy-out because the service clashed with Facebook’s recently-announced App Center.
Your team doesn’t seem to understand that being “good negotiators” and implying that you will destroy someone’s business built on your “open platform” are not the same thing
“Executives explained to me that they would hate to have to compete with the ‘interesting product’ I had built, and that since I am a ‘nice guy with a good reputation’ that they wanted to acquire my company to help build App Center,” Caldwell said in a blog.
When Caldwell said he wasn’t interested in selling up and becoming a Facebook staffer, he claims the executives in the meeting made it clear his app would be up against severe competition from the company and that the deal on the table was the only way he could save his firm.
He also claimed the tactics were commonplace within Facebook.
“I know for a fact that my experience was not an isolated incident,” Caldwell said.
“Several other startup founders and Facebook employees have told me that what I experienced was part of a systematic M&A ‘formula’. Your team doesn’t seem to understand that being “good negotiators” and implying that you will destroy someone’s business built on your “open platform” are not the same thing.
“Bad-faith negotiations are inexcusable, and I didn’t want to believe your company would stoop this low.”
Facebook hadn’t returned a request for comment at the time of publication.