Posts Tagged: maker

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

Lego Super Mario is a charming attempt at real-life ‘Mario Maker’

Lego is no stranger to video game collaborations. The legendary brick maker has already developed sets based on Mojang's Minecraft phenomenon and Blizzard’s popular Overwatch shooter, for instance. The company’s upcoming Mario range is a little diffe…
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TikTok-owner ByteDance reportedly built a deepfake maker

TikTok parent company ByteDance has built a feature that could let users create their own deepfakes, TechCrunch reports. The feature, referred to as Face Swap, was spotted in code in both TikTok and the Chinese app Douyin. It asks users to scan their…
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US deal saves Chinese phone maker ZTE from total ruin

Everyone remembers when the rug was pulled out from under Huawei’s feet the day before they planned to announce a partnership with AT&T to sell the new Mate 10 Pro. It was the talk of CES 2018 and the result of the US government’s claim that the Chinese company was a threat to national security. […]

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Samsung will discontinue its built-in Movie Maker after Android P update

Did you ever use Samsung’s built-in Movie Maker application on your Galaxy devices? If not, don’t feel bad; it was pretty well hidden, and obviously fairly underutilized as Samsung will be dropping the feature after the next major Android update.  If you did use it, though, pay attention. After your Samsung device is updated to Android P, […]

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G Suite gets more customization tools including new App Maker

As Google I/O 2017 starts to wind down and fans plot their new developments or their next big purchase based on Google tech, the enterprise market got some welcome news about some tools Google will roll out for G Suite. G Suite is Google’s platform mainly intended for the enterprise that gives companies access to […]

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Maker of a $14,000 super-secure phone gets cold feet after low sales force cuts

Sirin Labs, makers of the $ 14,000 Solarin phone, proves that getting ahead in smartphone manufacturing today is a true challenge, as news spreads of a change in strategy and not enough sales.

The post Maker of a $ 14,000 super-secure phone gets cold feet after low sales force cuts appeared first on Digital Trends.

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HTC invests in transparent optical display maker for augmented reality

HTC and Quanta Computer recently made a huge investment in Lumus, a maker of transparent optical screens for augmented reality-based glasses. The screens are based on the Lumus Optical Engine that blends digital and physical worlds.

The post HTC invests in transparent optical display maker for augmented reality appeared first on Digital Trends.

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Google shuts down Map Maker, to the chagrin of Google Maps trolls

Google has announced that it will shut down Map Maker, the tool that allowed any Google Maps user to contribute edits to the company’s Maps platform, in favor of its invite-only Local Guides program.

The post Google shuts down Map Maker, to the chagrin of Google Maps trolls appeared first on Digital Trends.

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Droid Turbo 2 leak hints at ‘shatterproof’ screen and Moto Maker

Those rumors of Verizon launching the Droid Turbo 2 and Droid Maxx 2 at its October 27th event? They just got much more concrete. Droid-Life has obtained leaked promos spilling the beans on both of the carrier-specific Motorola smartphones. As susp…
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Meld backers fired up after the smart stove knob maker cancels Kickstarter

Meld is a cool device, a retrofittable knob that smartens up your existing stove, but its Kickstarter was canceled after the company was acquired. Backers are not happy, to say the least.

The post Meld backers fired up after the smart stove knob maker cancels Kickstarter appeared first on Digital Trends.

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