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2 Feb 2023

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California District Court Overrules FTC Action Against Meta Acquiring VR Company

SAN JOSE, CA - Meta Platforms may be able to buy out VR producer Within Unlimited, if a US District Court decision stands. The court's Judge Edward Davila denied an FTC action from July 2022 blocking the proposed sale. Judge Davila's decision was sealed, so details of his reasoning are not available. Th decision is also now under appeal by the FTC, stalling the proposed deal at least a little further.

The FTC claimed in its action that Meta “is already a key player at each level of the virtual reality sector. The company’s virtual reality empire includes the top-selling device, a leading app store, seven of the most successful developers, and one of the best-selling apps of all time.” Specifically, the agency's Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman said at the time, “instead of competing on the merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top,” describing the proposed deal as “illegal.”

The FTC complaint further outlines the consumer VR and metaverse worlds, without a mention of the sibling Industrial Metaverse, or “Enterprise Metaverse” as described by a recent report from the IBM Institute of Business Value.

Within Unlimited is based in Los Angeles, and could be emblematic of a new age of collaboration between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. The company has received $12.5 million in Round A venture funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz. It has focused on the world of personal fitness, for which the company “builds and shares incredible immersive experiences that activate peoples’ minds, bodies, imaginations and hearts,” according to the company.

Images from Within Unlimited.

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