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Meta Stifled Competition By Resorting To Acquisition Of A VR Fitness App: US FTC

US FTC says that Meta has the resources to build and compete with its own VR fitness app but instead chose to “illegally” acquire Within

What's the news?  In its court filing on Monday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Meta Platforms Inc stifled competition when it acquired Within Unlimited Inc and halted Meta's own plans to build a VR fitness app, according to a report by Bloomberg. However, Meta denied that it ever planned to move forward with its product. Background: FTC says Meta's acquisition is illegal The FTC had filed a complaint in a US court on 27th July 2022 seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on Meta's acquisition of Within. "Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is already a key player at each level of the virtual reality sector.," FTC said in a statement. “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 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.” FTC's arguments in its filings: “Meta itself had the intentions to enter -- and thus was a reasonably probable entrant into -- the VR Dedicated Fitness App market" This acquisition will deny the consumers the benefit of adding another competitor to the market. Within's team expected Meta to enter the fitness app market. Meta even hired Within's head of product, after…

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I cover privacy, surveillance and tech policy. In my reporting, I try my best to present the most relevant facts, and sometimes add in a pinch of my thoughts.

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