Facebook faces VR fire in Germany - Mobile World Live

Facebook faces VR fire in Germany

11 DEC 2020

Facebook faced legal action in Germany, as the country’s competition regulator Bundeskartellamt detailed an investigation into a requirement for users of its Oculus VR products to have an account with the social media giant.

Bundeskartellamt stated it was concerned the requirement may “constitute abuse of dominance”. It noted Facebook had begun to integrate its VR activities into its core social network, and while the Oculus platform had previously operated separately, it was now offered as an addition function, under the name “Facebook Reality Labs”.

Commenting on the issue, Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt said: “With its social network Facebook holds a dominant position in Germany and is also already an important player in the emerging VR market. We intend to examine whether and to what extent this tying arrangement will affect competition in both areas of activity.”

It added the use of the latest Quest 2 VR glasses would require a registration using a Facebook account and existing Oculus accounts could no longer be used.

The regulator said the use of VR applications currently were mainly in the gaming and video sectors, but “the number of users and turnover with such applications are constantly increasing”.

Bundeskartellamt launched similar action against Facebook in 2017, accusing the company of abusing its dominance and imposing restrictions regarding the processing of user data.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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