The social media giant said Rankwave ran apps on the Facebook platform and had been under investigation by the site over its compliance with Facebook’s policies, but had failed to co-operate with the firm.
Facebook said it hoped the legal action, filed in California, would “send a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to co-operate with it during an investigation”.
Rankwave has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
“Facebook was investigating Rankwave’s data practices in relation to its advertising and marketing services,” Jessica Romero, the social network’s director of platform enforcement and litigation, said.
“Rankwave failed to co-operate with our efforts to verify their compliance with our policies, which we require of all developers using our platform.
“Facebook has already suspended apps and accounts associated with Rankwave, and today’s suit asks the court to enforce the basic co-operation terms that Rankwave agreed to in exchange for the opportunity to operate apps on the platform.”
Facebook has been at the centre of an ongoing data privacy scandal which has become a wider debate into the safety and security of internet companies and social media.
On Friday, following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg backed recent calls from a number of governments for increased regulation of technology firms.
“We need new rules for the internet that will spell out the responsibilities of companies and those of governments,” he told French TV channel France 2.