After the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) attempted to reject the merger on the grounds that it would eliminate market competition, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has now reportedly been given permission by a judge to complete its acquisition of virtual reality firm Within Unlimited.
Bloomberg reported that a US judge rejected the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the proposed acquisition, citing sources familiar with the decision.
The judge additionally imposed a temporary restraining order, effectively preventing Meta from completing the transaction for a week. The FTC now has time to challenge the judgment.
What is the situation?
The FTC filed a complaint in July 2022 to prevent Meta from acquiring virtual reality firm Within, which produces the popular VR app Supernatural. According to the FTC, the Mark Zuckerberg-owned corporation purchased Within in order to eliminate competition in the market. Meta already owns Beat Saber, a game that is somewhat similar to Supernatural.
Meta appealed the verdict in December, denying claims of illegal monopolization of the VR business. As a result, Meta pushed back the acquisition by one month. It meant that the transaction would not be completed until January 31. The Facebook-parent business agreed in August not to close the deal until December 31 at 11:59 p.m.
According to Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth, “if this deal doesn’t close in a timely manner, we’ll probably just walk away.”
Companies bought by Meta for the metaverse
Despite losses in the billions of dollars in the metaverse project, Meta continues to purchase companies. It bought Gary Sharp Innovations, a Colorado-based optics business, this month, which will aid in the development of better VR headsets and AR spectacles.
In June, Meta entered into a share purchase arrangement with Gary Sharp Innova Decision
Luxexcel, a firm that 3D-prints prescription lenses for smart glasses, was purchased by Facebook’s parent company in December. It purchased BigBox VR, the creator of Population: One and April saw the acquisition of Downpour Interactive, the firm behind the VR game Onward.