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Report: FTC Investigating Meta's Competitive Practices

Report: FTC Investigating Meta's Competitive Practices

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Meta for potentially anti-competitive practices, Bloomberg reports.

The recent report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Naomi Nix indicates the FTC is investigating Meta’s virtual reality units over potential anti-competitive practices.

Last month, a report from The Information indicated the FTC opened an antitrust probe into Meta’s acquisition of VR fitness platform Supernatural. The new report from Bloomberg indicates the FTC’s investigation is “scrutinizing how Meta, the world’s largest social media company, may be using its market power in the VR space to stifle competition,” including asking about Meta’s sales strategy for Quest 2 which sees it priced starting at just $299, far below the nearest competition.

Apps like Virtual Desktop and Bigscreen have faced situations where Meta (formerly Facebook) made it either difficult or unprofitable for certain aspects of those products to function on Quest. In the case of Virtual Desktop, for example, developer Guy Godin wasn’t allowed to release a PC VR streaming feature for his app through official channels for more than 20 months. When Facebook finally allowed the feature officially it was just a couple months before Facebook launched its own version of PC VR streaming called Air Link. The Bloomberg story reports the FTC “quizzed outside developers that make Oculus apps in recent months as part of the inquiry,” particularly in relation to how the company might discriminate against third-party services or apps that compete with solutions or apps offered by Meta directly.

The full report from Bloomberg, which may be behind a paywall, is available here. It’s been a busy start to the year — other recent reports indicate that Apple’s unannounced mixed reality headset might not ship this year, amid reports of lucrative hiring pushes between Meta, Apple and Microsoft.

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