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U.S. FTC Asks Judge to Put Meta’s Acquisition of VR Fitness Platform Within on Hold

“if this deal doesn’t close in a timely matter, we’ll probably just walk away”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta previously disclosed its plans to acquire VR fitness platform Within Unlimited late last year and has since encountered various impediments that have delayed the acquisition.

Meta revealed in late 2022 that it would not close the deal until January 31st, 2023 as it awaits the court’s ruling on U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) preliminary injunction trial.

However, it seems the metaverse company isn’t getting its way anytime soon. On Tuesday the U.S. Federal Trade Commission asked a judge to put a hold on Meta Platforms Inc’s deal to acquire Virtual Within Unlimited while both sides await a decision from the court.

Acquisition block

The U.S. FTC sued Meta in July 2022 to stop the Facebook and Instagram parent company from acquiring the VR fitness platform by ordering a preliminary injunction, adding that Meta’s “campaign to conquer VR” commenced in 2014 after it acquired Oculus.

The agency has now asked that the court order Meta to stop any form of attempt in acquiring the VR fitness platform until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on the first business day after the judge rules on whether the deal may proceed. Alternatively, the judge could extend the existing temporary restraining order for one week, said the agency in a court filing.

Meta has previously denied the FTC’s claim and has been pushing to seal the deal ever since. The social media company has a history of acquiring startups and small companies in the VR space that can become potential competitors and hinder its metaverse ambitions.

However, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth said in court last year, “if this deal doesn’t close in a timely matter, we’ll probably just walk away,” and seeing how determined the FTC is to stop the acquisition from happening, Meta might just walk away after all.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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