FTC Won’t Appeal Decision Allowing Facebook’s Within VR Buy

FTC chair and big tech critic Lina Khan.

FTC chair and big tech critic Lina Khan.
photo: Anna Moneymaker (Getty Images)

The Federal Trade Commission will not appeal the court ruling reject its trying to block those Acquisition of VR fitness Company Within by Facebook and parent company Meta. The regulator’s decision represents a major win for Meta and prompts a re-examination of the agency’s ability to deliver successfully similar antitrust cases aimed at curtailing Big Tech’s market dominance.

An FTC spokesman announced the decision during a press conference Monday afternoon, effectively ending the agency’s two-year battle to block the acquisition of Meta. The spokesman declined to provide more specifics about his decision, but said he was nonetheless optimistic his legal complaint raised legitimate antitrust concerns that it might play a role in future cases. The FTC and legal experts speak to Gizmodo, said, that Despite the wound, the agency may still have some battle left for future antitrust action.

The FTC’s decision to refrain from doing so From a complaint came hours after federal judge Edward Davila’s Verdict the rejection of the FTC’s efforts was unsealed. Within makes the popular VR fitness app Supernatural. In his Complaintthe FTC tried to argue that the proposed acquisition by meta, the world leading manufacturer of consumer VR headsetswould wipe out the VR competition and put the company on the path to a VR monopoly.

Although Davila has sided with the FTC in some cases Ultimately, due to legal arguments, he was not convinced that Meta would have decided to join the company VR fitness app market if Within cannot be taken over.

“While Meta has significant financial and VR engineering resources, it did not have the capabilities that VR-dedicated fitness apps offer, specifically fitness content creation and studio production facilities,” Davilla wrote in his verdict.

Davilla’s decision was immediately praised by Meta, who argued its acquisition would actually increase competition and be a boon for VR consumers and developers. CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testimony in proceedings before the court’s decision.

“We are pleased that the court denied the FTC’s motion to block our acquisition of Within,” a Meta spokesman said in a opinion. “This deal will bring pro-competitive benefits to the ecosystem and drive innovation that will benefit people, developers and the wider VR space. We look forward to closing the transaction soon.”

Meta did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

FTC: Down but not out

Although the verdict of the court Offers A major blow to the FTC, the agency and a monopoly expert who spoke to Gizmodo said they remain confident in their ability to effectively pursue future actions against other tech companies. First, the judge agreed with the FTC’s claims that VR fitness products are a separate market. The judge also agreed that the FTC’s claims in its case that the Meta acquisition could reduce competition were indeed based on valid legal theory. Those smaller wins could help the FTC in future cases.

Legal counsel for the American Economic Liberties Project, Lee Hepner, backed the FTC’s optimistic outlook, telling Gizmodo that the decision not to appeal was “a wise and strategic move by the FTC.”

“The FTC largely achieved its goal of advancing legal theory, losing only on a narrow fact-specific determination,” Hepner said, risking losing its legal gains on appeal.”

Hepner said the case “confirmed” the FTC and the Justice Department stated approach Bringing up challenging real-world cases for the advancement of legal theories.

“In that sense, this was a win for the FTC,‘ Hepner said.

https://gizmodo.com/facebook-oculus-within-vr-ftc-not-appealing-1850079601 FTC Won’t Appeal Decision Allowing Facebook’s Within VR Buy

Zack Zwiezen

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