The FTC’s Attempt to Block Meta’s Acquisition of Within Is Wrong on the Facts and the Law

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit seeking to block Meta’s planned acquisition of Within, the company behind the VR fitness app Supernatural.

The FTC’s case is based on ideology and speculation, not evidence. The idea that this acquisition would lead to anticompetitive outcomes in a dynamic space with as much entry and growth as online and connected fitness is simply not credible. By attacking this deal in a 3-2 vote, the FTC is sending a chilling message to anyone who wishes to innovate in VR. We are confident that our acquisition of Within will be good for people, developers and the VR space.

There is No Merit to the FTC’s Case

Under US law, the FTC is required to prove that an acquisition would “substantially lessen competition” in order to successfully block a deal. We believe it’s clear that neither the evidence nor the well-established law will support such a result.

It’s always been clear that our acquisition of Within will inject new investment into the VR fitness space, improve the Quest platform to better support all fitness apps and expand the VR ecosystem as a whole – all to the benefit of people and developers alike. The FTC rests its arguments on a number of flawed premises and unsupported assumptions that do not stand up to scrutiny.

First, they allege that Supernatural competes closely with Meta’s Beat Saber app, which is a music and rhythm game, and that people would be harmed by bringing them together. But this position misunderstands the nature of the space entirely and ignores the market realities. Beat Saber is a game people play to have fun and it has many competitors. Supernatural couldn’t be more different. It is a subscription-based virtual exercise service that offers boxing, flow, meditation and stretching workouts

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