Zuckerberg to make formal statement in US case against Facebook’s virtual reality deal

Facebook parent company Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify in a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC believes that Meta’s acquisition of virtual reality (VR) content makers within unlimited should be blocked to prevent a monopoly.

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In a court filing Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the FTC listed 18 witnesses it plans to question, including Zuckerberg, Within Unlimited CEO Chris Milk. and Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth. They were also on the witness lists filed Friday by defendants Meta and Within Unlimited.

In addition to defending the acquisition of Within Unlimited, Zuckerberg is expected to be asked about Meta’s VR business strategy and the company’s plans to support third-party developers, according to court documents.

Facebook VR Deal US FTCMeta agreed to acquire Within Unlimited in October 2021 for an undisclosed amount. The FTC filed a lawsuit in July of the same year, arguing that Meta’s acquisition of Within Unlimited would “likely create a monopoly in the VR fitness app market.” The agency said the proposed deal would “substantially reduce competition, or tend to create a monopoly in this market”.

Meta argued in court filings on Friday: “Neither behaviorally nor organizationally, the FTC’s conclusions and the speculative, contradictory allegations are convincing, let alone proving any alleged the VR fitness app market may form an ‘oligopoly’ assumption .”

Under Zuckerberg, Meta acquired headset maker Oculus VR in 2014 and began shifting its focus to VR. Meta’s VR headsets have since become a cornerstone of its growth in VR, the FTC said in its lawsuit. Fueled by the Quest VR headset, Meta’s Quest Store has become the leading VR app platform in the US, with over 400 apps available for download.

The FTC also said that Meta has acquired seven of the most successful VR technology development studios and now has one of the largest catalogs of VR content in the world. Meta acquired the studio Beat Games, giving it control of the popular app Beat Saber.

In its lawsuit against the Within Unlimited acquisition, the FTC cited Zuckerberg’s 2015 emails to Facebook executives saying his vision for the “next wave of computing” is to control apps and the platforms on which those apps are distributed. Last year, Zuckerberg announced the creation of the Metaverse, which aims to replace the Internet and combine virtual life with real life.


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