The US Federal Trade Commission and astatine slightest 3 states are investigating Meta for antitrust violations successful its virtual world division, according to Bloomberg. The study says the FTC and attorneys wide from New York, Tennessee, and North Carolina began speaking past twelvemonth with third-party VR developers who person concerns astir Meta’s concern practices. It’s 1 of aggregate probes into Meta’s dominance successful the tiny but increasing marketplace of VR.
The Bloomberg study references well-known controversies astir Meta (formerly Facebook) and its VR part (formerly Oculus). Regulators person reportedly asked developers if the Oculus app store discriminates against third-party apps whose features overlap with its ain offerings, and they’ve seemingly questioned Meta’s strategy of selling the Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest) headset astatine a $299 terms constituent that heavy undercuts the terms of different VR headsets. The FTC declined to remark connected Bloomberg’s report.
The FTC has allegedly already opened a probe into Meta’s acquisition of Within, the institution down VR fittingness app Supernatural. The US Justice Department besides reportedly investigated akin claims successful precocious 2020. German regulators publicly announced an probe astir the aforesaid time.
So far, VR has inactive gotten small attraction compared to different Meta divisions. The FTC is presently pursuing an antitrust suit against the institution implicit its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp; aft a setback past year, a justice revived the suit earlier this week. But arsenic Meta has begun emphasizing its role arsenic a steward of a VR-heavy “metaverse,” the country whitethorn invitation much ineligible scrutiny arsenic well.