The saga with the purchase of Meta* by Within is over. The social media giant has completed its takeover of a VR fitness app company, despite a U.S. regulator trying to block it.
The parties have not yet made statements about their future plans, but back in October 2021, Within announced its readiness to continue developing content for its flagship Supernatural application under the wing of the Meta* Reality Labs division. The deal has been in doubt for some time: Last July, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Meta* of trying to dominate the VR product market. The company agreed to delay the takeover, but last week a court overturned a preliminary injunction that was needed to conduct an antitrust investigation. The FTC decided not to appeal the decision.
The new asset gives Meta* control over one of the most popular VR fitness apps. The company is actively promoting solutions in the metaverse, the bet on which brings it multibillion-dollar losses, and consumers have not had a clear incentive to spend a lot of time in virtual reality. Within gives Meta* a set of physical exercises and a subscription service, although the latter’s audience is not so large. But this is a help in the competition with other products, including the Sony PlayStation VR2.
But for the FTC, which is struggling to resist the consolidation of the technology sector, this is bad news. Now the department will intensify the fight to prevent the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.
* Included in the list of public associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On countering extremist activity.”
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