Mark Zuckerberg Testifies About Meta’s Virtual Reality Ambitions

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On Dec. 8, Judge Edward J. Davila of the district court began hearing arguments over the injunction. In an opening statement, Abby Dennis, a lawyer from the F.T.C., said that Meta could have built a competitor to Within’s popular virtual reality fitness game, Supernatural, on its own without acquiring the company.

Hal Singer, an economist who is one of the F.T.C.’s witnesses, later testified that the deal harmed competition. Aaron Koblin, the founder of Within, also appeared as a witness, as did Mark Rabkin, a Meta executive. Mr. Rabkin said Meta had considered adding a fitness element to a virtual reality game it owns, Beat Saber, but didn’t pursue the idea.

On Monday, Andrew Bosworth, Meta’s chief technology officer, took the stand. Mr. Bosworth, who oversees the company’s virtual reality work and was involved in the Within acquisition, testified that Meta saw itself as “a platform, and the idea of a platform is that there is so much software that no one company could possibly create all of that software.”

Meta preferred to acquire companies that had created viral games, he said, as it was not easy to imitate that type of success. He added that Meta would not favor games or programs it bought over those from other parties.

Hours before his testimony, Mr. Bosworth also published a 2,000-word blog post defending Meta’s commitment to artificial and virtual reality, and stressing that the company saw it as a competitive space.

“As new devices hit the market, we believe our industry will enter a new era of growth and competition that will bring enormous benefits to users and the developer community,” he wrote.

No further sessions are scheduled for the hearing after Tuesday, though more could be added. Judge Davila is expected to rule after arguments are completed.

Ryan Mac contributed reporting.

This is a developing news story and will be updated.