FTC Sues to Block Meta From Buying Popular VR Company

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Meta has already bought seven successful virtual-reality software companies, according to the FTC.

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Meta Platforms’ quest to dominate virtual reality is hitting a roadblock. On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission said it is suing the social media company to stop it from acquiring Within Unlimited, the maker of the virtual reality fitness app Supernatural. The government agency alleges that the proposed acquisition by Meta (ticker: META ), led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is illegal.

“Instead of competing on the merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top,” said FTC Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman in a news release. “Meta already owns a best-selling virtual reality fitness app, and it had the capabilities to compete even more closely with Within’s popular Supernatural app. But Meta chose to buy market position instead of earning it on the merits. This is an illegal acquisition, and we will pursue all appropriate relief.”Meta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the complaint.FTC said Meta has already bought seven successful virtual-reality software companies and owns one of the largest catalogs of VR content. The agency said that if the deal is allowed to go through, it would hurt innovation in the virtual reality fitness-app space.

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Meta announced last October that it had reached an agreement to purchase Within Unlimited. Earlier this week, the social media giant said it would be increasing the price of its Meta Quest 2 VR headset by $100 starting in August, citing rising development costs. The company also disclosed that consumers have spent more than $1 billion on Meta Quest VR apps.

Write to Tae Kim at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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