FTC Sues To Stop Meta Acquisition’s VR Empire.


The FTC sues Meta, previously Facebook, to prohibit it from buying a VR app firm over antitrust concerns.

Meta is trying to buy its way to the top, said FTC Deputy Director John Newman (Opens in a new window).

Meta announced in October it would buy Within, the maker of VR games like Supernatural. The FTC sued to halt the deal on Wednesday.

Meta is “a key player at every level of virtual reality,” says the federal authority. The commission mentioned Quest VR headsets, Meta’s control of a key virtual reality app store, and its earlier acquisitions of multiple VR gaming businesses, including the producer of Beat Saber, a rhythm game comparable to Within’s Supernatural app.
The FTC fears the corporation is aiming to “conquer” the market and build its “virtual reality empire” through acquisitions. If Meta buys Within, competition will decrease. The commission ruled reducing competition breaches antitrust laws.
FTC says Meta should compete with Beat Saber against Within’s Supernatural app. “Meta and Within currently spur each other to keep adding new features and attract more users,” the FTC said.

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The FTC decided to sue 3 to 2. The agency has asked a US district judge to stop the acquisition pending a ruling.
The business argued the FTC’s action is based on ideology and guesswork. “The idea that this acquisition would lead to anticompetitive outcomes in online and connected fitness is not credible.” The FTC’s 3-2 vote against this merger sends a chilling message to VR innovators. Our acquisition of Within will benefit individuals, developers, and VR.”

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