If you've noticed duplicate "fan" pages for businesses on Facebook in the last year or so, you aren't the only one. Facebook created "places," which appears to be the entire white page phone book for the U.S. It allows people to "check-in" to places that don't have a fan page.
However, it created a duplicate nightmare for businesses that are on Facebook -- they now have TWO fan pages to try to manage. When searching for your business, a customer may accidentally end up on your places page. It looks like a fan page and has a "like" button like a fan page. However, if you are unaware of your places page and only posting to and managing your actual fan page, they will be missing out on important information.
Originally Facebook asked business owners to combine their current fan page with their local places page. Businesses started doing this and then became very upset as they lost the majority of their fan page functionality. Business owners then petitioned Facebook to remove the local page merging and Facebook did. It does appear that Facebook is trying to figure out internally how to deal with the situation.
If you and your business are in this situation, here's what you can do: post the same posts to both pages, run the same contest on both pages and monitor both pages to respond to comments - that way you can communicate with all your fans via Facebook instead of only doing promotions for half of them. It might be more time consuming, but until Facebook fixes the problem, you don't want to lose customers that may be on the "wrong" page.
If your business would like more information about what Social Sonar can do to help you manage your Facebook fan and places pages, please let us know!