The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dropped some of the claims in the lawsuit that challenges social media giant Meta’s proposed acquisition of Within, California-based virtual reality app developer, behind the popular VR work-out app Supernatural which is exclusive to Meta’s Quest headsets.
As reported by Bloomberg, the FTC said that it requested permission from US District Judge Edward Davila last Friday to withdraw some of the allegations focused on the acquisition’s anticompetitive impacts on VR fitness apps.
Facebook first unveiled plans to acquire Within back in October 2021, just a day after it changed its name to Meta. The FTC sued the company on July 27 to block the acquisition, claiming that it would “tend to create a monopoly” as the social media giant also acquired Beat Games, the developer of the VR rhythm game Beat Saber.
The government agency’s amended complaint drops claims that Meta and Within are competitors, however, still claims that the acquisition could harm competition or provide Meta a monopoly in the market for VR dedicated fitness apps. ‘’That lessening of rivalry may yield multiple harmful outcomes,including less innovation, lower quality, higher prices, less incentive to attract and keep employees, and less consumer choice,’’ FTC claims.
In a statement, Meta spokesperson Stephen Peters said: “The FTC now claims that Meta and Supernatural are not competitors, after previously claiming that they were. What remains of the FTC’s case are speculative claims that continue to lack support in either the facts or the law.”
The social media has company rejected the claims of the Federal Trade Commission and accused it of enforcing antitrust laws in a discriminatory manner.