Following an antitrust suit with the FTC, Meta has officially closed the deal to acquire Within, the VR developer behind fitness app Supernatural. It took more than a year for the deal to receive the necessary approvals to move forward. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
The FTC took Meta to court in July to block its purchase of Within, makers of the VR fitness app Supernatural, claiming the acquisition would be anti-competitive. Meta has a history of buying up promising VR tech to power its billion-plus dollar bet on the metaverse, including Beat Games, the studio behind Beat Saber, and Oculus, which powers Meta’s hardware. But after a lawsuit in which Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified, a judge ruled that Meta could proceed with the acquisition.
This victory comes at a difficult time for Meta, just a few months after its 13% headcount cut. Last week, the company announced in its earnings report that it has lost $13.7 billion about AR and VR in the past year. Reality Labs, the division for these technologies, only brought in $2.16 billion in revenue.
The subscription-based Supernatural app has a cult following: The Facebook group has nearly 77,000 members (…only a few 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 a month to train in VR, Meta still has a steep hill to climb to recoup the loss of tens of billions of dollars over the years.