Zuckerberg, in FTC trial, says Meta focused on building comms apps

Cam White | December 20, 2022

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By Katie Paul and Diane Bartz

SAN JOSE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Meta Platforms boss Mark Zuckerberg said the company is focused on building communications apps and developer platforms, speaking on Tuesday at a high-profile trial over the future of its budding metaverse business.

Wearing a blue suit, a white mask, and glasses, Zuckerberg appeared in federal court in San Jose, California, to defend Meta's acquisition of virtual reality app developer Within.

In the first few minutes, he was questioned by Federal Trade Commission officials, who asked him about an email he wrote in 2015 where he said he expected Meta to build "most of the apps and software services" for the virtual reality industry.

The FTC sued the Facebook and Instagram owner in July to stop the deal, saying its "campaign to conquer VR (virtual reality)" began in 2014 when it acquired Oculus, a VR headset manufacturer. It has accused Meta of trying to buy its way to dominance in the metaverse.

Within developed Supernatural, which it advertises as a "complete fitness service" with "beautiful destinations" and "workouts choreographed to the best music available."

Meta is battling a multipronged, global battle against regulators over its dominance in various markets. The European Commission on Monday said it warned Meta that it is breaching EU antitrust laws by distorting competition in online classified advertising and abusing its dominant position.

Meta shares were up 1.7% in afternoon trading at $116.53 a share.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington D.C. and Katie Paul in Palo Alto; Editing by Franklin Paul, Anna Driver and Jonathan Oatis)