WASHINGTON (July 28, 2022)— On Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission announced it is suing to block Facebook owner Meta from buying Within Unlimited, a company that makes the virtual reality fitness app Supernatural. The FTC alleges Meta is trying to buy dominance in an emerging market at the expense of creating greater competition and innovation that would otherwise benefit consumers. The FTC is already separately suing Meta for illegal monopolization of the personal social networking market. The agency charges that Meta used acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp to shut down nascent competitors to increase its own dominance.
William E. Kovacic is a professor of Law and Policy at GW Law where he teaches anti-trust law and competition law. He is also a former FTC commissioner.
Upon hearing the news of the FTC’s new lawsuit against Meta, he offered this analysis:
“In the area of merger enforcement, this is the most important case that either of the agencies has brought so far. This is exactly the kind of case they’d been promising. I sense that this is the first of a series of cases that are designed very consciously to test the boundaries of doctrine and I have to think there are others in the pipeline. But it’s a big step.”