The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in connection with an attempt to monopolize the metaverse.
In the complaint, the Federal Trade Commission alleges that Meta violates U.S. antitrust laws with its potential acquisition of virtual reality company Within and its fitness app Supernatural.
The FTC called the deal Meta’s way of “buying its way to the top” rather than “competing on merit.” The complaint states that Meta has all the resources to create its product for the metaverse, but instead acquires Within and Supernatural, as it sees them as its closest competitors. The move by the tech company is said to hinder “future innovation and competitive rivalry” between companies in the US.
Meta is accused of trying to monopolize the metaverse
The FTC said it plans to block Meta’s acquisition of Within in an attempt to promote competition and help consumers.
The deal to acquire Within could go ahead as early as August 1 if the court doesn’t side with the FTC.
In 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission already sued Meta for “anti-competitive conduct” in connection with its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp and $1 billion of Instagram, citing similar concerns about stifling innovation. Both WhatsApp and Instagram were the main competitors of Messenger and Facebook, respectively, before the acquisition.
Since rebranding in 2021, Meta has done a lot to build the metaverse, including the potential launch of a cryptocurrency-enabled payments platform. The latest major initiative was the opening of a store in San Francisco that sells virtual reality equipment.
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