The acquisition of virtual reality start-up Within by Meta Platforms has been approved by a court ruling in San Jose, California. The ruling was made by US District Judge Edward Davila and denied the request made by the US Federal Trade Commission to block the transaction as per a report by Bloomberg.
The FTC had sued Meta in July, alleging that the acquisition would be anti-competitive and would aid in the creation of a monopoly in the emerging virtual reality industry. However, the judge’s ruling allowed Meta to move forward with the acquisition of Within, the creators of the VR fitness app Supernatural.
A temporary restraining order has been issued, pausing the transaction for a week while the FTC considers whether to appeal the ruling. An in-house trial before the FTC’s administrative judge is set to begin soon.
A US District Judge in San Jose, California has ruled in favor of Meta Platforms Inc. to proceed with its acquisition of virtual reality startup Within Unlimited. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Meta in July to block the purchase, alleging that the acquisition would lead to anti-competitive behavior in the virtual reality industry. However, Judge Edward Davila has denied the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction, allowing Meta to move forward with the acquisition.
The decision was made in a sealed ruling, and both Facebook and the FTC declined to comment. This represents the first major loss for FTC Chair Lina Khan, who was appointed by President Joe Biden to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement.
The FTC’s administrative trial is scheduled to begin on February 13, and it remains to be seen whether the FTC will move forward with the case. The decision could also have implications for the FTC’s case against Microsoft Corp’s proposed merger with Activision Blizzard Inc, which is slated for trial in August.