Facebook parent Meta reportedly facing another antitrust probe

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Facebook changed its name to Meta in October to focus its attention on creating virtual worlds.

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There seems to be a growing distrust of Facebook. On Friday, Bloomberg Reported That the US Federal Trade Commission and several states, led by New York, are investigating potential anti-competitive practices by virtual reality headset maker Oculus. Facebook, which renamed Meta in October, owns Oculus.

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Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg said investigators are asking developers questions about “how the Oculus App Store can discriminate against third parties who sell apps that compete with Meta’s own software. “

The FTC and the New York Attorney General’s office declined to comment. Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The reported investigation could deal a blow to the social media giant’s plans to build the Metaverse, a virtual space where people can work, play and socialize. It also highlights the increasing scrutiny from the US government the company is facing as it continues to grow.

This week, US District Judge James Bosberg denied META’s request to dismiss an amended antitrust complaint filed by the FTC, but he also indicated that the agency will face an uphill battle to prove the charges. . The amended lawsuit, filed by the FTC in August, accuses the tech company of maintaining its dominance in social networking by acquiring or eliminating companies it sees as competitive threats. Meta also owns the popular photo service Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp. In the complaint, the FTC alleged that Facebook’s purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp resulted in reduced privacy and data protection, along with reduced consumer choice. Meta has said that its investments in both apps helped them grow and that “they’ve been good for the competition.”

Last year, Bosberg dismissed a similar complaint filed by a group of state attorneys general. On Friday, the group filed a appeal brief Arguing that the complaint should not have been dismissed and the decision reversed.

“Mark Zuckerberg claims to have built the metaverse, but Facebook’s actions are causing significant harm to millions of consumers and many small businesses in the real world,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “Time and again, the social media giant has used its market dominance to drive smaller companies out of business and reduce competition to millions of users.”

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