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Report: Zynga and Facebook relationship at "breaking point"

Zynga allegedly considering launching own social network as Facebook rules change

New reports have suggested that a dispute between Facebook and Zynga could result in the FarmVille developer and its games being evicted from the social networking site, while Zynga is apparently considering launching its own Facebook rival.

According to The Times, Zynga has been riled by Facebook's decision to introduce Facebook Credits for all transactions on its site, from which it takes commission of 30 per cent, and has threatened to leave the site.

For its part Facebook is allegedly ready to evict the company and all of its games - which also include Mafia Wars, FishVille and Cafe World - from its social network.

Anonymous sources from within Facebook have described Zynga as a "bad actor" which is putting profits before its users. They added that the situation, if it persists, would be best solved by Zynga's departure from the site.

And Zynga looks to be considering doing just that, having launched its own site from which to play FarmVille last year. The company is apparently now weighing up whether to launch its own rival social networking site.

Facebook first began testing Facebook Credits in May 2009, and started a beta trial earlier this year.

It says that the long-term goal with the Credits is provide a universal currency that makes the purchasing of virtual items across its 500,000-plus applications faster and simpler for users. Zynga though has reportedly called them prohibitive.

Earlier this week it was revealed that another change in Facebook's rules - a ban on applications being able to send notifications to users - had caused game player numbers to drop sharply in April.

Zynga was one of the most affected companies, with FarmVille losing 4.4 million of its 82.8 million users over the month.

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Kath Brice