Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms Inc., spoke Tuesday on Day 7 of the Federal Trade Commission’s case to block Meta’s $400 million purchase of VR fitness app maker Within. – and hasn’t been shy about hyping up what’s at stake.
When asked if the company he co-founded as Facebook is “trying to shape the technology of the future” as the provider of the metaverse under its new name Meta META,
Zuckerberg didn’t mince words: “Yeah, that’s a pretty broad statement, but yeah.”
These are the stakes in a case that could both define the limits of antitrust law and determine whether Meta can build on its metaverse dreams with Within, the creator of the Supernatural app. The hearing in San Jose, Calif., will determine whether the FTC gets an injunction to end the deal and fulfill FTC Chairman Lina Khan’s quest to verify the tech titans’ power in court.
Meta has invested billions of dollars in its pursuit of developing virtual reality products that transport consumers into an immersive world. But its pursuit has been hampered by a $10 billion loss from the division that houses its VR and AR products in the recently ended quarter, conflicts and the abrupt resignation last week of VR pioneer John Carmack, an eight-year Facebook/Meta. veteran.
Read more: VR legend John Carmack’s departure made Meta’s metaverse an even bigger gamble
“It’s been a struggle for me,” Carmack wrote in a post calling Meta’s metaverse push plagued by bureaucracy, diversity and safety concerns, and a “ridiculous amount of people and resources.” Carmack testified in the Within case last week.
Zuckerberg’s star testimony on Tuesday was his first court testimony since 2017, when he appeared in federal court when Facebook lost a case over allegations by a video game publisher that Oculus, which Facebook bought for more than $2 billion, stole its intellectual property.