Back in July 2022, Meta criticized the FTC for trying to block its acquisition of Inside AR/VR Fitness Studio, the company behind the Supernatural fitness app. The regulator claimed that the purchase would reduce competition in the industry, especially considering that Meta was already a very strong competitor in the market. Today, the FTC suffered a major blow as a US federal court rejected the regulator’s request to block the deal.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose denied the FTC’s request to block the deal in a sealed court order issued hours ago. While the details of the actual order are not yet public, they deal a major blow to the regulator, giving Meta a significant boost to the overall process.
The Wall Street Journal says. While the FTC may still seek to block the agreement through a separate lawsuit filed in its own internal administrative court, it has historically dropped such cases after a federal court has ruled against it. is given
In the past, Meta has argued that the acquisition does not constitute a monopoly because it has already invested billions of dollars to make the VR space more welcoming and open to developers. Then there’s the fact that Meta allows for sideloading apps from other storefronts and links to VR content on PC. Thus, Metta believes that the FTC cannot realistically make a case about how a fitness app acquisition harms competition. We’ll likely learn more details as the court’s decision becomes public and both Meta and the FTC outline their next course of action.
Source: WSJ (paywall)