Meta acquires Within despite FTC concerns • TechCrunch
After an antitrust lawsuit with the FTC, Meta has officially closed the deal to acquire Within, the VR developer behind fitness app Supernatural. It has taken more than a year for the deal to secure necessary approvals to move forward. The financial terms were not disclosed.
The FTC sued Meta in July to block the purchase of Within, the creators of the VR fitness app Supernatural, alleging that the acquisition would be anti-competitive. Meta has a history of buying up promising VR technology to power its mutlibillion-dollar bet on the metaverse, including Beat Games, the studio behind Beat Saber, and Oculus, which powers Meta’s hardware. But after a trial in which Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified, a judge ruled that Meta could go forward with the acquisition.
This victory comes at a trying time for Meta, only a few months out from its 13% workforce reduction. Last week, the company revealed in its earnings report that it has lost $13.7 billion on AR and VR in the past year. Reality Labs, its division for these technologies, only brought in $2.16 billion in revenue.
The subscription-based Supernatural app has a cult following — its Facebook group has almost 77,000 members (… only some of whom think they’re on a fan page for the long-running CW show of the same name). But even with a community of people paying $20 per month to work out in VR, Meta still has a steep hill to climb to reclaim its loss tens of billions of dollars over the years.