Meta gets nod to buy unlimited VR content creator as FTC request denied

Meta gets nod to buy unlimited VR content creator as FTC request denied

Meta gets nod to buy unlimited VR content creator as FTC request denied

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A judge on Friday issued a ruling rejecting the Federal Trade Commission’s request to stop Meta Platforms from buying virtual reality content maker Within Unlimited, dismissing regulator concerns that the deal would reduce competition in a new market. .


A lawsuit in December to decide whether Meta could go ahead with the relatively small deal was seen as a test of the FTC’s offer to avoid what it sees as a repeat acquisition by the company. small potential rivals to dominate a market, this time in the nascent virtual and augmented reality markets.

The ruling was released in sealed form earlier this week. The version published Friday evening has been redacted.

A spokesperson for Meta said the Facebook and Instagram owner is “satisfied that the Court has denied the FTC’s motion to block our acquisition of Within.”

“We look forward to closing the transaction soon,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Judge Edward Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said the FTC failed to show that Meta would have entered the market to create dedicated fitness content had it not been able to to buy Within.

“While Meta has considerable financial and VR engineering resources, it lacked the capabilities unique to VR-dedicated fitness apps, especially fitness content creation and studio production facilities,” wrote the judge.

The move is good news for Meta boss and founder Mark Zuckerberg, who defended the acquisition in testimony in December, saying his company was helping build but not dominate the VR industry.

Zuckerberg had testified in federal court in San Jose, Calif., that owning Within was “not so critical” to Meta’s ambitions and that it was “less important that we own the experiences than that they exist.”

The FTC sued Meta in July to end the Within deal, asking the judge to order a preliminary injunction, saying Meta’s “campaign to conquer virtual reality” began in 2014 when it acquired Oculus, a manufacturer of virtual reality headsets.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series of smartphones launched earlier this week and the South Korean company’s high-end handsets have seen a few upgrades across all three models. What about the price increase? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and wherever you get your podcasts.
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