FTC files injunction to stop Facebook from acquiring Within VR app
The FTC accuses Facebook of trying to "buy its way to the top" in a new injunction.
Facebook has aggressively been trying to establish itself in the virtual reality space. This is evident in the company’s acquisition of Oculus a couple of years ago, as well as its decision to rebrand as Meta late last year. The company was hoping to further build its metaverse empire by finalizing a deal to acquire Within, a growing VR app, however, those plans are being stalled. The FTC has filed an injunction to prevent Meta from acquiring Within, implying that the deal is anti-competitive.
The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) filed its injunction against Facebook earlier today, as we learned via the New York Times. Within is an app available across different VR platforms that provides users access to a variety of VR experiences, including a new fitness program called Supernatural. With the injunction, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman explained why Facebook’s Within acquisition shouldn’t go through.
Instead of competing on the merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top… 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 earnings on the merits. This is an illegal acquisition, and we will pursue all appropriate relief.
The FTC’s point about Meta trying to buy market position instead of earning it is quite significant, given the recent run of major acquisitions in the tech space. Should the FTC successfully prevent Facebook from acquiring Within, it could set a major precedent for how the courts and government handle these big tech deals. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation as it develops, so stick with Shacknews for any potential updates on the FTC injunction against Meta.
Donovan Erskine posted a new article, FTC files injunction to stop Facebook from acquiring Within VR app
A pretty strange choice and rationale. The FTC surely doesn't want to get caught looking like they learned nothing from FB's early acquisition spree around IG and WhatsApp but I don't know how you block this acquisition without basically broadly ruling hardware platform owners cannot acquire software companies.