A Delaware company sued by state Attorney General Rob McKenna and the social-network site Facebook for allegedly violating the federal anti-spam act and state consumer-protection laws is disputing the claims and criticizing McKenna for filing suit without first talking to company officials.

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A Delaware company sued by state Attorney General Rob McKenna and the social-network site Facebook for allegedly violating the federal anti-spam act and state consumer-protection laws is disputing the claims and criticizing McKenna for filing suit without first talking to company officials.

McKenna, in a joint news conference with Facebook corporate lawyers on Thursday, announced a pair of lawsuits — one filed by McKenna here and the other by Facebook in California — alleging AdscendMedia LLC had flooded Facebook and other social-networking sites with spam disguised as postings from friends — a practice known as “click-jacking.”

McKenna acknowledged at the news conference that he had not contacted Adscend before he sued, and the company issued a statement Friday saying it had been blindsided.

“At no time did we engage in the activity alleged in the complaints,” the company said in a prepared statement. “AdscendMedia will provide a vigorous defense against these false claims.” The company said if any illegal activity was conducted by its affiliates, it was without company officials’ knowledge.

AdscendMedia lawyer Mark J. Rosenberg said the company found it “deeply troubling” that McKenna did not attempt to talk to the company beforehand or notify it of an intended lawsuit.

McKenna’s office is accusing AdscendMedia of violating the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) and state commercial email and consumer-protection laws.

Simultaneously, attorneys for Facebook in San Jose, Calif., filed a federal lawsuit against Adscend, citing alleged CAN-SPAM violations. Both lawsuits seek injunctions, damages and attorneys fees from Adscend and its owners, Fehzan Ali, of Austin, Texas, and Jeremy Bush, of Huntington, W.Va.

McKenna’s and Facebook’s attorneys accused Adscend of making $20 million a year through the “click-jacking” scam.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com