Meta and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been doubling down on all things metaverse recently, hoping to create an online platform in VR in the near future. The push for the metaverse led to Meta making deals with VR companies, even outright buying some, so many were shocked to see the Facebook corporation blocked from making another purchase due to antitrust laws.
That’s enough VR for you Facebook
According to a report from The New York Times, Meta/Facebook was blocked from buying VR company Within as part of an antitrust lawsuit. This antitrust lawsuit claims that Zuckerberg and Meta are trying to monopolize the online space by purchasing VR companies like Within, which is why the current purchase has been blocked, at least for now.
"Meta seeks to exploit the network-effects dynamic in VR. Indeed, Mr. Zuckerberg has made clear that his aspiration for the VR space is control of the entire ecosystem," reads the lawsuit. "The proposed acquisition of Within would be one more step along that path toward dominance."
Considering major purchases we’ve seen before, like Disney buying Fox and Microsoft purchasing Activision Blizzard, it is somewhat surprising to see antitrust laws consider this a monopoly. Then again, the metaverse is still a fairly new concept to most, and Zuckerberg could have had a monopoly on that early, if not for this lawsuit.
Setting a precedent for the metaverse age
It seems that precautions are being made for the metaverse age so that Zuckerberg doesn’t get an immediate advantage over other competing companies. Admittedly, it’s easy to see that since Meta has been able to get a number of corporations to invest in the platform. Either way, the result of this case should be interesting.
"It's a riskier case, but one they think is worth bringing because if they succeed it will help the frontier of enforcement outward," William E. Kovacic, former FTC Chair, told the NYT. "I think this is the first of its kind."
Unsurprisingly, Meta is not pleased with this delay to their already-delayed metaverse plans. During a statement made by the company, the former Facebook said these accusations are based on speculation without having any evidence. Read below to see the company’s fairly angry response.
"The FTC's case is based on ideology and speculation, not evidence," Meta wrote. "The FTC rests its arguments on a number of flawed premises and unsupported assumptions that do not stand up to scrutiny."
It's been a string of bad luck for Meta recently, with the company recently losing $2.8 billion in revenue. Some analysts even told stockholders to sell their Meta stocks. This antitrust lawsuit shows that their bad luck isn't running out anytime soon.