FTC Opens Antitrust Investigation on Meta’s Purchase of VR Fitness App Supernatural. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has opened an in-depth antitrust probe of Meta’s plan to buy the popular VR fitness app Supernatural, according to a new report by The Information.
The probe means that antitrust regulators are starting to scrutinize the company-formally-known-as-Facebook’s interest in scooping up VR startups, not just its traditional social media acquisitions.
According to The Information’s Josh Sisco, Meta’s previous five virtual reality acquisitions, including its deal for the studio behind hit game Beat Saber, weren’t probed by the government because the purchase prices were too small.
“But those regulators are slowing down the $400 million-plus Supernatural deal, according to two people with knowledge of the situation,” the report notes.
FTC Opens Antitrust Investigation on Meta’s Purchase of VR Fitness App Supernatural
It’s unclear what criteria the FTC, which is simultaneously suing Meta in a bid to unwind the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, is using to evaluate the VR deal.
VR is a nascent but fast-growing industry that third-party estimates say Meta has a majority market share of, thanks mostly to the early success of its Quest 2 headset.
The verge also noted that while the FTC might eventually approve the Supernatural deal, its decision to investigate signals that Meta’s playbook of quickly buying the hottest VR startups on its platform may already be coming to an end.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a federal agency that enforces antitrust laws and protects consumers. FTC activities include investigating fraud or false advertising, congressional inquiries, and pre-merger notification. The FTC also handles scams and unfair or predatory business practices.
The purpose of FTC warning letters is to warn companies that their conduct is likely unlawful and that they can face serious legal consequences, such as a federal lawsuit if they do not immediately stop. In many cases, warning letters are the most rapid and effective means to address the problem.
FTC and Refund
The FTC enforces consumer protection laws to stop illegal business practices and get refunds to people who lost money. For statistics about where refunds were sent, the dollar amounts refunded, and the number of people who benefited from FTC refund programs, visit our interactive dashboards.
Who Controls FTC
The Commission is headed by five Commissioners, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, each serving a seven-year term. No more than three commissioners can be of the same political party. The President chooses one Commissioner to act as Chair.
What does VR have to do with fitness? Well Virtual reality fitness, or VR fitness, is the idea of using cutting-edge, immersive VR technology to create a whole new workout environment anywhere in the world.
Hopefully, you can hold a pose, because the SUPERHOT VR is a great go-at-your-own-pace workout, with an economy of movement that’s almost reminiscent of yoga or Tai Chi at times. Squat under an incoming bullet, and then take a minute to think about your next move while your thighs start to burn.
Can the VR Get You in Shape
The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise has done research on the impact of virtual reality exercise on the human body. They concluded that exercising in VR with the right games can burn more calories than most dedicated workout equipment at the gym. So I guess this answers the question.