Consumer Watchdog has a bit of bite to that bark, after all. Facebook has changed its Facebook Credits terms oh-so-slightly after the non-profit consumer interest group called the company out on violating anti-trust laws last week, according to a press release.
Of course, Watchdog sniffed Facebook out as soon as Credits became the only official currency on Facebook last week. Both of Watchdog's formal attacks show that it isn't terribly pleased with how Facebook is essentially caging its developers by controlling how they price virtual goods on other platforms.
But now, Facebook has downgraded that ball and chain from steel to copper with its single revised line in its developer terms. The revised line reads, "You may not charge a logged-in Facebook user of your game app on Facebook a higher price in Credits for an item, virtual currency, or service than you would charge a logged-in Facebook user on another platform or service via another payment method."
Sure, Facebook has changed the terms of its, um, terms, but has merely taken an implicit limitation and transformed it into an implied one. Developers can undercut Facebook all they want on other platforms, but those games better not use Facebook Connect. Funny thing–that's where all of the players are.
It almost goes without saying that Watchdog is still calling for the Federal Trade Commission to intervene. At this point, developers' only hope of avoiding Facebooks' reportedly dastardly policies is for Google Games (and its rumored 20 percent cut) to take off in a big, big way. Like … 250 million players big.