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The FTC is reportedly investigating Meta's VR unit for anticompetitive practices

·Weekend Editor
·1-min read

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well as several states, including New York, Tennesse and North Carolina, are reportedly investigating Meta’s virtual reality division in relation to potential anti-competitive behavior. According to Bloomberg, the FTC and involved state attorneys general began interviewing third-party developers last year to find out if the company has put them at a disadvantage when they’ve tried to compete against its own software.

Some third-party developers claim Meta frequently copies their best ideas and then makes it harder for their apps to function on its headsets. Among other developers, the outlet points to the experience of Virtual Desktop creator Guy Godin. In 2019, he added a feature to his app that allowed Oculus Quest owners to stream PC games to their headsets. Meta, then known as Facebook, reportedly threatened to delist the app if Godin didn’t remove the feature. That same year, the company released Oculus Link, a feature that allows Quest users to connect the headset to their PC via a USB-C cable.

It’s unclear how close the FTC may be to filing formal charges against Meta. The agency declined to comment on the matter for Bloomberg. However, what is clear is that Meta is firmly in the FTC’s crosshairs over its various acquisitions. In December, The Information reported the agency had opened a probe into its proposed $400 million deal to buy Supernatural studio Within. Separately, this week a federal judge allowed the FTC to proceed with an amended antitrust lawsuit that seeks to undo the company’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram.

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