The Federal Trade Commission is seeking an injunction in U.S. District Court to stop Mark Zuckerberg and Meta Platforms from buying fitness service Supernatural.
A partially redacted complaint alleges the acquisition announced last year was poised to close at the end of this month, but that it would “substantially lessen competition, or tend to create a monopoly, in the relevant market for VR dedicated fitness apps.”
“Letting Meta acquire Supernatural would combine the makers of two of the most significant VR fitness apps, thereby eliminating beneficial rivalry between Meta’s Beat Saber app and Within’s Supernatural app,” the complaint reads. “It is reasonably probably that Meta would have entered the VR dedicated fitness app market through alternative means absent this acquisition.”
Meta “could build instead of buy within a reasonable period of time if it could not proceed with this acquisition,” the complaint reads. If the acquisition is allowed, “Meta would be one step closer to its ultimate goal of owning the entire ‘Metaverse.’”
Meta put up a blog post about the situation and, in a prepared statement, a Meta spokesperson shared the following with UploadVR:
“The FTC’s case is based on ideology and speculation, not evidence. The idea that this acquisition would lead to anticompetitive outcomes in a dynamic space with as much entry and growth as online and connected fitness is simply not credible. By attacking this deal in a 3-2 vote, the FTC is sending a chilling message to anyone who wishes to innovate in VR. We are confident that our acquisition of Within will be good for people, developers and the VR space.”
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