Meta Platforms Agrees To Delay Closure Inside Deal Given US Challenge


WASHINGTON: Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company that plays a major role in virtual reality, has agreed to delay the deal for Within Unlimited, maker of the popular fitness app “Supernatural,” according to a court filing.

The Federal Trade Commission had filed a lawsuit in July to stop the deal, asking a judge in federal court in San Francisco for a temporary restraining order to stop the companies from closing the deal.

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In a joint court filing on Thursday, Meta agreed not to close until 11:59 p.m. on December 31, or until the first business day after the judge decides whether to allow the case to proceed.

The FTC, which voted 3-2 on whether to file the lawsuit, called Facebook a “global tech giant”, noting that it owns popular apps, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, saying its ” campaign to conquer VR” began in 2014 when it acquired Oculus, a manufacturer of VR headsets

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Facebook, which agreed to buy Within for an undisclosed amount in October 2021, said when the lawsuit was filed that the FTC case was “based on ideology and speculation, not evidence.”

The FTC argued in its complaint that the planned acquisition was a way for Meta to dominate virtual reality.

Meta already has the best-selling VR headset, the Quest 2, and runs a Meta Quest Store with hundreds of apps. Founded in 2014, Within creates original content for virtual reality. It describes itself as “the premier destination for cinematic virtual reality.”

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