The Meta proposal to buy virtual reality company Within Unlimited is seeing some speedbumps in court, Bloomberg wrote, with the Federal Trade Commission issuing a challenge.
The issue involves Within Unlimited and its fitness app Supernatural, and how Meta buying it could kill competition in the virtual reality industry.
Meta has been a prominent force in acquisitions in the last decade, buying more than 100 companies in that time. And Within is a unique factor in these times because it’s a smaller company in a fledgling industry.
Hearings on the FTC’s move to try and block the deal will happen in December.
Meta has agreed to hold off on its buy until Jan. 1 or until there’s a ruling on the FTC injunction request — whichever comes first.
The FTC and other regulators have been turning a more critical eye against big tech companies, including Meta, over concerns of monopolies happening.
PYMNTS wrote earlier this year that Meta did manage to get its purchase of animated image company Giphy through in the U.K., after the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) shut down the attempt from the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to nix the deal.
The CMA had said the deal would hurt competition in advertising as well as other social media companies.
The CAT said the deal could stifle competition, but that the CMA had technically been wrong in saying Meta had to sell Giphy. The CAT ended up siding with the government against Meta on six other things Meta had tried to appeal on.
According to CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli, the CAT had issued a “resounding endorsement” of the authority’s way of assessing acquisitions.
“Innovation is a vital part of the competitive process, particularly in digital markets,” Coscelli said. “We also welcome the tribunal’s endorsement of the ‘care and careful consideration’ given to this issue by the independent Inquiry Group in this case.”