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FTC Files New Lawsuit Against Meta To Block Its Takeover Of VR Fitness App

The FTC has recently filed a new lawsuit against tech giant Meta as a means of blocking its takeover of the VR fitness studio app Within.

For those who may not be aware, this is more popular in terms of providing subscriptions for the famed exercising app called Supernatural.

This is definitely not the first time that we’re seeing the giant regulatory body butt heads with the company as many such incidents have taken place in the past. However, we won’t lie as this definitely seems to be a little more aggressive than usual.

Tech experts predict the situation to get messy with Meta moving forward as the FTC revealed that the firm needed to make wise decisions like opening the option of competing with others in the industry. Yet, it chose to acquire the app instead, clearly revealing its dominating role against a start-up firm.

The FTC added in its recent statement to the public how the decision would end up having dire consequences linked to less rivalry and pretty bad outcomes. Common disadvantages included the likes of decreased innovation, high costs, poor quality, and less desire to keep hardworking employees on board. But above all, consumers would now be limited in their options too.

But we can’t help but emphasize how the decision is coming at a time that couldn’t be worse for the Facebook owner.

It’s certainly going through some really tough times as it makes an effort to balance its huge ambitions for the VR industry while investing heavily in the metaverse. This coupled with poor income, revenue, and decreased active user accounts are making things worse, not to mention a fall in stock prices too.

Just recently, Meta made the shocking decision to hike up its pricing for VR Quest headsets, despite it being in the industry for a while now.

Now the actual price of the mega acquisition of Within was never declared publicly but we did get an idea, thanks to a recent report produced by The Information that shed light on the matter.

They claim Meta finalized the deal at a staggering value of $400 million. Meanwhile, Crunchbase reported how Within also managed to raise $52 million thanks to the funding generated by mutual investors as well.

If you take our personal opinion, we feel this case seems to be one linked to the FTC trying to get rid of its own demons which included saying yes to Meta’s acquisition of Instagram in the past.

The FTC warned Meta at the time that the organization couldn’t solely rely on achieving gains by acquiring small startup companies. But the real question is why it ended up giving the entity the power, to begin with. Why should companies buy other firms to progress?

In the recent past, we’ve seen Meta take on board several different VR apps as well as studios in the world of gaming. We agree the current deal in question is definitely bigger but again, why wasn’t action taken in the past?

Another question we have is how the FTC’s lawsuit is less linked to facts and more related to its own ideology. Hence, it will be interesting to see how things play out.


Read next: Meta and Apple’s Race to Create the Metaverse First has Been Labeled as ‘Metaphorical’

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