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FTC antitrust watchdogs reportedly investigating Meta’s VR division

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The US Federal Commerce Fee and no less than three states are investigating Meta for antitrust violations in its digital actuality division, according to Bloomberg. The report says the FTC and attorneys normal from New York, Tennessee, and North Carolina started talking final yr with third-party VR builders who’ve issues about Meta’s enterprise practices. It’s certainly one of a number of probes into Meta’s dominance within the small however rising market of VR.

The Bloomberg report references well-known controversies round Meta (previously Fb) and its VR division (previously Oculus). Regulators have reportedly requested builders if the Oculus app retailer discriminates towards third-party apps whose options overlap with its personal choices, they usually’ve apparently questioned Meta’s technique of promoting the Meta Quest (previously Oculus Quest) headset at a $299 worth level that closely undercuts the worth of different VR headsets. The FTC declined to touch upon Bloomberg’s report.

The FTC has allegedly already opened a probe into Meta’s acquisition of Inside, the corporate behind VR health app Supernatural. The US Justice Division additionally reportedly investigated similar claims in late 2020. German regulators publicly announced an investigation across the similar time.

Up to now, VR has nonetheless gotten little consideration in comparison with different Meta divisions. The FTC is at present pursuing an antitrust lawsuit towards the corporate over its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp; after a setback final yr, a judge revived the suit earlier this week. However as Meta has begun emphasizing its role as a steward of a VR-heavy “metaverse,” the world could invite extra authorized scrutiny as effectively.

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