Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg told a federal court Tuesday that he’s not overly concerned about having fitness apps to build his metaverse.
He was there after the Federal Trade Commission hit Meta with an antitrust suit after the company tried to acquire Within Unlimited Inc., the creator of a virtual reality workout game called “Supernatural.” Meta’s Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth, was in court a day earlier talking about the same $400 million purchase.
Zuckerberg (pictured) was asked about virtual reality and augmented reality and what kind of ambitions his company had in the markets, and whether was Meta trying to shape the future of technology. He answered in the positive but added that the question was a “fairly broad statement.”
The FTC case is being called unusual in that this acquisition is in a market that is currently not very established. The challenge has been laid down because the FTC says it doesn’t want Meta to become too powerful in the market before it really gets off the ground. What was also unusual is the fact that Zuckerberg himself was testifying.
When he was told that Meta wanted to take over the market of VR fitness apps, Zuckerberg said that fitness tech, or lack thereof at Meta, doesn’t concern him much. “It’s less important that we own the experiences than they exist,” he said. “By joining us, I think we can also help them be able to pioneer the category.”
He said if Meta is not allowed to make the purchase, that will create an oppressive atmosphere and might put off investors. He said he could live without fitness apps being part of his vision, but if the deal went ahead, he could give Within “a multiyear runway” in which they could build on their products.
The FTC doesn’t see it that, saying Meta wants to capture the market before it gets going so that the metaverse becomes a kind of megalith where VR is concerned. Zuckerberg countered, saying with Meta behind these technologies, not only would Meta thrive, but the market in general and all the companies involved would thrive.
No decision on the acquisition has been made yet.
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