It is official – Facebook’s parent company, Meta has acquired virtual reality fitness startup Within. This purchase had been on the radar since October 2021, however it hit a roadblock when the U.S. regulators tried to stop the takeover on antitrust grounds.
After a court hearing involving Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, where he testified that VR fitness apps were not key to his company’s metaverse ambitions, the federal judge ruled against the regulator and now Meta can move ahead with the acquisition.
Meta won court approval to buy virtual reality startup Within Unlimited, defeating an effort to block the deal by the FTC according to people familiar with the ruling. https://t.co/kCA9yAuEqE— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) February 2, 2023
The Oculus Product and the FTC Challenge
It all started in 2016 when Oculus launched its first consumer product. People were instantly taken by the headset technology that allowed them to experience different worlds, games, and activities from the comfort of their own homes. It didn’t take long for Oculus to become popular; within no time at all, it had achieved 70-90% market share (depending on the source).
To build its ecosystem and continue to dominate the market, Oculus burned billions of dollars each year to acquire top-performing software like Beat Saber and Population One. These acquisitions helped them stay ahead of competitors like HTC Vive and Sony Playstation VR as well as ensure that their customers had access to the latest technologies.
In 2021, despite their success in building an ecosystem that had become so dominant in the VR market, Facebook faced an antitrust challenge when they tried to acquire Within. After going through legal battles with FTC over several months, Facebook emerged victorious last week and was able to complete its acquisition of Within. This victory comes as a reminder of just how powerful Meta has become since its acquisition by Facebook seven years ago—and it is likely that they will continue to be a major player in the VR space for years to come.
The Benefits of Acquisition
The acquisition of Within by Meta marks a major milestone in their mission to become a leading virtual reality platform and create an immersive world for users everywhere. By integrating “Supernatural” into their existing library of apps and services, they will be able to provide more comprehensive content and experiences for their customers. This acquisition also helps them break into new markets as they expand their reach and appeal to an even wider customer base.
Furthermore, this acquisition also provides a great opportunity for both companies to learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. With Within’s expertise in developing virtual reality fitness apps, Meta can use this knowledge to enhance its products and services.
Similarly, Withing can benefit from Meta’s expansive data capabilities that allow them to better understand user behaviour in order to develop more personalised experiences for their customers.
A Bright Future Ahead
Meta’s acquisition of Within is certainly a positive step forward in terms of growth opportunities for both companies and advancements in virtual reality technology overall. With this partnership, they have successfully positioned themselves as one of the leading players in this space by creating innovative products that will bring together people from all over the world in an immersive virtual world experience.
The acquisition thus opens up many possibilities for both companies as it allows them to tap into different markets, create new revenue streams, collaborate with other industry leaders and further explore cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and more.
Overall, Meta’s acquisition of Within is an exciting development that is sure to have far-reaching implications across all sectors related to virtual reality technology. It marks an important milestone not only for these two companies but also for anyone interested in exploring the potential opportunities presented by virtual worlds or those looking to build upon existing applications using advanced features such as AR or AI. By bringing together two industry leaders under one umbrella, we can expect some exciting developments in this space moving forward!