Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The FTC is reportedly investigating Meta’s VR division for antitrust violations

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The US Federal Trade Commission and at the very least three states are investigating Meta for antitrust violations in its digital actuality division, in keeping with Bloomberg. The report says the FTC and attorneys basic from New York, Tennessee, and North Carolina started talking final yr with third-party VR builders who’ve considerations about Meta’s enterprise practices. It’s one in all a number of probes into Meta’s dominance within the small however rising market of VR.

The Bloomberg report references well-known controversies round Meta (previously Facebook) and its VR division (previously Oculus). Regulators have reportedly requested builders if the Oculus app retailer discriminates towards third-party apps whose options overlap with its personal choices, and so they’ve apparently questioned Meta’s technique of promoting the Meta Quest (previously Oculus Quest) headset at a $299 value level that closely undercuts the value of different VR headsets. The FTC declined to touch upon Bloomberg’s report.

The FTC has allegedly already opened a probe into Meta’s acquisition of Within, the corporate behind VR health app Supernatural. The US Justice Department additionally reportedly investigated related claims in late 2020. German regulators publicly introduced an investigation across the similar time.

So far, VR has nonetheless gotten little consideration in comparison with different Meta divisions. The FTC is at present pursuing an antitrust lawsuit towards the corporate over its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp; after a setback final yr, a decide revived the swimsuit earlier this week. But as Meta has begun emphasizing its function as a steward of a VR-heavy “metaverse,” the realm might invite extra authorized scrutiny as nicely.

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