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.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg beside the company's rebranded Meta logo.

Source: Meta

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.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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