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Top metaverse news: FTC filed lawsuit against Meta over attempting to monopolize the metaverse

Top metaverse news:

The US Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has filed a lawsuit against Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an effort to prevent the social media behemoth from reaching "its ultimate goal of dominating the entire 'metaverse'."

The FTC asserted in a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California on Wednesday that Meta's and Zuckerberg's possible acquisition of virtual reality firm ‘Within’ and its fitness program ‘Supernatural’ was unlawful under US antitrust laws and a way for the social media firm to “buy its way to the top” rather than “competing on merit”. According to the lawsuit, under Zuckerberg's leadership, Meta was “a prospective contender in the virtual reality devoted fitness app market” with the capacity to build its own software, but instead opted to own Supernatural by acquiring ‘Within’. The move will purportedly stifle “future innovation and competitive rivalry” among US enterprises.

The FTC noted that it intended to halt Meta's acquisition of ‘Within’ in order to promote competition and aid consumers.

Meta's claimed acquisition of any prospective risks to its financial line is nothing new. In 2020, the FTC filed a complaint against Facebook for anticompetitive behavior for its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014 and $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in 2012, citing similar worries about limiting innovation. Both applications, which handle chat services and photo sharing, were said to be competitors to Facebook's Messenger app and main platform.

Since rebranding to Meta in October 2021, Facebook has announced many efforts aimed at expanding into the metaverse, including the prospective creation of a payments platform that supports cryptocurrency. In May,  Meta built a physical store in the San Francisco Bay Area that offers virtual reality hardware.

According to the lawsuit, “unless the court intervenes and prevents Meta from acquiring Within, the deal will most likely go through on August 1.”

Read also: Metaverse Update: Metaverse real estate sales will exceed $5 billion by 2026: Study suggests

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