FTC Sues To Block Meta’s Acquisition Of A Virtual Reality Firm Within Unlimited

  • FTC has sued Meta to block the firm from acquiring a VR app within
  • FTC alleges that Meta is trying to illegally acquire Within when it has the resources to build its app. 

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking to block Meta, formerly known as Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, from acquiring Within, a virtual reality application maker. 

In a complaint filed on July 27, FTC alleges that Meta and Zuckerberg are “attempting Illegal Acquisition to Expand Their Virtual Reality Empire.”

FTC Blocks Meta From Acquiring Within, A Virtual Reality Application. 

In a press statement released by the FTC, the agency alleges that Meta and Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are trying to illegally acquire Within, a dedicated fitness app maker in hopes to scale their metavarsal plans. 

The Federal Commission further adds how Meta is trying to “buy its way out” instead of ethically competing on merits. 

“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. “Meta already owns a best-selling virtual reality fitness app, and it has 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.”

According to FTC, the agency asserts that Meta is equipped with the right resources and “reasonable probability to build its own app” but instead the firm is trying to acquire  Within Unlimited and its VR-dedicated fitness app Supernatural. 

FTC further adds that if Meta would have decided to explore the market independently, it would have spurred positive exchanges on all fronts. The statement later adds how Meta’s acquisition of Within would “dampen future innovation and competitive rivalry” instead of stimulating “consumer choice, increase innovation, spur additional competition to attract the best employees, and yield other competitive benefits.” 

In addition to this, the statement also claims that Meta’s acquisition of Within is unlawful and illegal. Speaking about the illegality factor, FTC further adds: 

“Meta already participates in this broader market with its Beat Saber app, as does Within with its premium rival app Supernatural. The two companies currently spur each other to keep adding new features and attract more users, a competitive rivalry that would be lost if this acquisition were allowed to proceed.”

The complaint filed by FTC is seeking to attain a temporary restraining order to counter Meta’s acquisition of Within. Furthermore, in a bid to put a pause on the said acquisition, a federal court complaint for preliminary relief has already been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.