FTC opens antitrust probe into Meta’s purchase of VR fitness app Supernatural

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According to a fresh story from The Information, the US Federal Trade Commission has initiated an antitrust investigation on Meta’s intent to buy the popular VR exercise program Supernatural.

Antitrust investigators are starting to look into the-company-formerly-known-as-interest Facebook’s in VR startups, not just its traditional social media acquisitions, as a result of the investigation. 

According to Josh Sisco of The Information, the government didn’t investigate Meta’s prior five virtual reality purchases, including its agreement for the studio behind the hit game Beat Saber, since the purchase prices were too low. “However, according to two people familiar with the case, those regulators are holding down the $400 million-plus Supernatural sale,” the story states.

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The FTC is suing Meta at the same time in an attempt to undo the Instagram and WhatsApp purchases.

 It’s unclear what criteria the FTC is using to examine the VR merger. Virtual reality is a young but rapidly growing sector, with third-party estimations claiming that Meta has a 75% market share, owing to the early success of its Quest 2 headset.

 While the FTC may ultimately accept the Supernatural acquisition, its move to investigate suggests that Meta’s strategy of fast purchasing the hottest VR firms on its marketplace is coming to an end.

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