Posts Tagged: block

FTC moves to block Meta’s purchase of ‘Supernatural’ VR workout app maker Within

The Federal Trade Commission has filed an antitrust suit against Meta in a bid to block it from buying Within Unlimited, the maker of the virtual reality workout app Supernatural. The agency accused the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg of "planning to expand Meta’s virtual reality empire with this attempt to illegally acquire a dedicated fitness app that proves the value of virtual reality to users."

The FTC claimed that Meta is "already a key player" at every level of the VR ecosystem. It said the company has the top-selling VR device (Meta Quest 2), a leading VR app store, "seven of the most successful developers and one of the best-selling apps of all time." The latter is likely referring to Beat Saber. Meta bought the maker of that rhythm game, Beat Games, in 2019.

“Instead of competing on the merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top,” John Newman, deputy director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. “Meta already owns a best-selling virtual reality fitness app and it had the capabilities to compete even more closely with Within’s popular Supernatural app. But Meta chose to buy market position instead of earning it on the merits. This is an illegal acquisition and we will pursue all appropriate relief.”

Meta announced its plan to buy Within last October. It was reported in December that the FTC was looking into the $ 400 million deal. Meta, of course, got into the VR market in the first place when it bought Oculus in 2014.

The FTC argues in the complaint that Meta has the resources and "reasonable probability" of entering the VR fitness market by building its own app. That approach, the agency claims, would "increase consumer choice, increase innovation, spur additional competition to attract the best employees, and yield other competitive benefits." Instead, if it were to buy Within, the FTC claims Meta would limit "future innovation and competitive rivalry" and says "that lessening of competition violates the antitrust laws."

“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," a Meta spokesperson told Engadget in a statement. "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.” 

The move will come as another blow to Meta's aim to become the leading metaverse player. The company has plowed billions into the effort, though in recent months it has dialed back some of its ambitions by cutting costs and reportedly shelving plans for some devices that were supposed to hook into its metaverse. This week, the company announced that it will increase the price of a Meta Quest 2 headset by $ 100 as of August 1st. News of the FTC's move to block the Within acquisition comes on the same day that Meta will report its earnings for the second quarter of 2022.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

[Guide] 4 ways to block ads on your Android phone or tablet

Ads have become a part of our everyday life, and are nearly inescapable. But it doesn’t need to be like this and there are ways to minimize your exposure to them. Today we are looking at solutions you can employ to rid your phone of cumbersome ads, particularly ones that are particularly invasive to your […]

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How to block text messages on Samsung

Telemarketer driving you mad? Ex won’t stop texting? We show you how to block text messages on Samsung and banish unwanted texts for good!
Mobile | Digital Trends

Facebook threatens to block all news in Australia

Facebook users in Australia could lose their ability to share news on the social network, the company is warning. The threat is the result of a proposed law from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that would require Facebook an…
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Eero will now block ads on your home network for just $2.99 per month

Eero is a pretty powerful mesh network system that was recently scooped up by Amazon. So far we haven’t seen any drastic changes in Eero’s software or hardware, with the router sticking to its premium price point. But one thing that made Eero unique was its Eero Plus subscription, which runs $ 9.99 per month and […]

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AT&T and T-Mobile announce joint effort to block more robocalls to your phone

T-Mobile and AT&T are probably two of the unlikeliest partners to team up for literally anything, but we’re about to see what it’s like anyway. It’s not like they’re partnering together for anything really business-related, anyway, and it’s got nothing to do with mergers between the two of them or any other carrier this time. […]

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AT&T will automatically block fraud calls for new customers

AT&T is making quick use of FCC rules explicitly allowing carriers to block robocalls by default. The network will start automatically blocking fraud calls (and issuing suspected spam call alerts) for new phone customers as a matter course, at n…
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The next version of Chrome could block resource-hogging ads

Browsing the internet is excellent until you happen across a site with intrusive adverts that hog the resources on your device, causing the page to either load at a snail’s pace and sometimes even completely fail to load. Google is reportedly on the case, though, with a new feature called “Heavy Ad Intervention” that may […]

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Sony’s mobile division might be on the chopping block

It’s not much of a surprise that Sony’s mobile division has never done very well relative to the rest of the industry, and it’s been a rumor for quite some time that the company will drop out of the smartphone game entirely. The move would make sense, especially considering it has recently been losing more […]

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[TA Deals] Block those annoying robocalls with a 1-year subscription to Call Control Premium (33% off)

By now you’re probably like the rest of us and you’re getting spammed with robocalls multiple times throughout the day. It’s pretty rare that I don’t get at least one per day, but on average I’d bet that number is closer to half a dozen or so. As frustrating as it is, there’s a solution […]

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Facebook tests the ability to block certain words on your wall

If you're looking to keep certain content from ever appearing on your Facebook wall, there might be a feature in the pipeline for you. Computer science student Jane Manchun Wong discovered code on Facebook that appears to show the company is testing…
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Bragi asks court to block sales of OnePlus ‘Dash’ products

Bragi isn't willing to wait for the court to resolve its dispute over OnePlus' use of the word "Dash." The audio device maker has filed for a preliminary injunction that would block OnePlus from using the Dash name in association with its products w…
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Judge rejects Lime request to block e-scooter rivals in San Francisco

Lime just lost a last-minute bid to delay the launch of San Francisco's electric scooter pilot program. A judge has denied the company's request for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked Skip and Scoot from launching their services i…
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[TA Deals] Take 34% off this DIY Building Block Fly ‘n Drive Drone!

Drones are fun, and building blocks are fun. Why not combine the two? That’s exactly what you get with the DIY Building Block Fly ‘n Drive drone, which combines a remote controlled drone that you’re able to build on top of with your own building blocks, like LEGO. Includes 2.4GHz transmitter for long-range flight control […]

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States vow to block any vehicle emissions standards rollback

California isn't the only state that will openly defy the White House if it rolls back any of the vehicle emission standards set by the Obama administration. The attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington District of Columbia, I…
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How to block phone calls on your Android phone

Telemarketer or persistent won’t leave you alone? Here’s how to block calls on an Android smartphone, whether you want to do so with native features or mobile apps such as Mr. Number and Extreme Call Blocker.

The post How to block phone calls on your Android phone appeared first on Digital Trends.

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South Carolina may charge a fee to remove a porn block from new devices

A South Carolina Representative proposed a change to the state’s Human Trafficking Prevention Act requiring porn-blocking software to be installed on new, internet-connected devices. Owners will be required to pay a fee to deactivate the block.

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Gmail now lets you banish annoying senders with new ‘block’ button

Not before time, Google has finally rolled out a “block” feature for Gmail enabling users to avoid emails from annoying senders in just a couple of taps. An “unsubscribe” button has also landed, allowing for better management of unwanted newsletters.

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Cooling down the house: A new smart glass could block both heat and light

University of Texas at Austin professor Delia Milliron and her team are working on a material that can block 90 percent of near-infrared rays and 80 percent of the sun’s visible light, which should help keep homes cooler.

The post Cooling down the house: A new smart glass could block both heat and light appeared first on Digital Trends.

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