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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in US case against Facebook’s VR deal

Meta Platforms Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to testify in a case by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that argues the company’s proposed deal to buy virtual reality (VR) content maker Within Unlimited should be blocked.

Facebook had agreed to buy Within in October 2021 for an undisclosed sum.

In a court document filed with US District Court Northern District Of California on Friday, the FTC listed 18 witnesses it plans to question, including Zuckerberg, Within CEO Chris Milk and Meta Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth.

They were also on a list of witnesses submitted on Friday by defendants Meta and Within.

Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos combined one-day wealth loss: A whopping 1.3 lakh crore

In addition to defending the Within acquisition, Zuckerberg is expected to be questioned about the Facebook-parent’s strategy for its VR business, as well as the company’s plans to support third-party developers, according to the court document.

The FTC had filed a lawsuit in July saying that Meta’s acquisition of Within would “tend to create a monopoly” in the market for VR-dedicated fitness apps.

The regulator argues that the proposed deal would “substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly” in that market.

Meta, in court documents, has argued that “the FTC’s conclusory, speculative, and contradictory allegations do not plausibly plead any facts to establish that any supposed market for VR Deliberate Fitness apps is ‘oligopolistic’ as to either behavior or structure.”

Meanwhile, Meta India Director and Head of Public Policy Rajiv Aggarwal has said “It’s not like there is going to be a Meta metaverse or Apple metaverse or Google metaverse. It’s like everyone has to come together, has to collaborate and there has to be an openness to come together and build the technology of the future.”

While speaking at CyFy 2022, Aggarwal had said it is difficult to imagine what the metaverse will be 10 years from now.

“Although as we said maybe we’re not really there in the metaverse today, but we can see the core technologies that go towards building the metaverse — the building blocks obviously of the metaverse.”

(With inputs from Reuters)

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