FTC Enters the Metaverse with Meta Merger Lawsuit

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On July 27, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) voted 3-2 to sue in federal district court to block Meta Platforms, Inc.’s (“Meta”) acquisition of Within Unlimited, Inc. (“Within”), a virtual reality (“VR”) app developer. In authorizing the complaint, the commissioners took the unusual step of overruling an FTC staff recommendation to close the agency’s investigation. Further, the two Republican commissioners dissented but, as is customary in this context, did not issue separate statements explaining their views. The case has implications for future FTC review of transactions across industries, but in particular for VR, video game, and tech mergers.

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