Facebook (now Meta) has found its VR division under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and multiple U.S. states over renewed antitrust violation allegations.
Business Insider reports that Facebook’s VR division is under investigation by the FTC and multiple U.S. states led by New York. Third-party Oculus app developers have been questioned by the FTC in recent months, according to sources.
The investigation reportedly focuses primarily on whether Facebook’s VR division has used its dominant market position to shut down competitors. Virtual Reality has become a key part of the future of Facebook as it focuses on the development of the metaverse digital landscape.
The metaverse focuses on the use of VR and AR technology to experience a digital world with Facebook banking on the virtual landscape becoming the future of social media. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the company which has rebranded as “Meta’ would consist of two main bousinesses, its traditional social media platform, and its Reality Labs AR and VR division.
Andrew Bosworth, the head of Reality Labs, stated in October that the Oculus brand would be dissolved and the company would begin renaming the Oculus Quest heads the Meta Quest in “early 2022.”
Facebook is already facing scrutiny from the FTC in relation to antitrust allegations and last week a judge ruled that a major FTC antitrust lawsuit against the firm could proceed.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said as part of a 48-page opinion: “Although the agency may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations, the court believes that it has now cleared the pleading bar and may proceed to discovery.”
The FTC filed its antitrust case against Facebook near the end of 2020 but Judge Boasberg dismissed the lawsuit last June on the ground that it did not offer sufficient evidence that the social-media giant engaged in unlawful monopolization.
The FTC has since responded with a revised complaint offering more detailed allegations against Facebook. Tuesday, the judge ruled that the FTC can now proceed with its primary allegation that Facebook unlawfully suppressed competition by purchasing rival companies, including the messaging platform WhatsApp and image-sharing website Instagram.
Read more at Business Insider here.