The Federal Trade Commission has sued Meta to stop it from buying the VR fitness app Supernatural. The FTC believes Meta is trying to buy its way to the top.
The Federal Trade Commission is looking to block social media giant Meta from buying VR fitness app Supernatural, according to a press release published on July 27. The FTC said Meta is “already a key player at each level of the virtual reality sector” and cites the Oculus Quest, its app store, “seven of the most successful developers, and one of the best-selling apps of all time” as evidence for its dominance.
As a result, it does not want CEO Mark Zuckerberg to acquire Supernatural and buy its way to market control. FTC Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman said,
“Instead of competing on the merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top. 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.”
Supernatural is a dedicated virtual reality app that offers a VR experience for working out, including music tracks with major artists like Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga. The complaint states that by purchasing Supernatural, Meta would lessen the competition and violate antitrust laws.
Meta also announced its second quarter financial results for 2022. Like the quarters before, the results show that the company’s VR and metaverse strategies are costing the company a great deal. The company lost $2.8 billion this quarter from its Reality Labs division and $5.7 billion so far this year.
The company also expects its third quarter Reality Labs revenue to be lower than the second quarter, which does not bode well. Still, the company continues to pour its resources into the metaverse, which it believes is the future of interaction.
Meta has conducted multiple efforts related to the metaverse and NFTs in the past 12 months. Earlier this month, Meta enabled an NFT showcase feature on Facebook profiles. The crypto winter does not seem to have deterred it either, as it has confirmed that it will still offer NFTs during this time.
Multiple big tech companies are pursuing metaverse goals, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top. The past year has seen multiple patents being filed, and the next few years are likely to see many related releases.
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