In Germany, Facebook is under investigation over its virtual reality (VR) headset, the Oculus Quest. To use The Oculus Quest 2, users must have a Facebook account, a policy that reviewers and VR fans have widely criticised.
According to Germany’s competition authority, that requirement could be an abuse of Facebook’s dominant market position.
“We intend to examine whether and to what extent this…arrangement will affect competition in both areas of activity,” the agency said.
Facebook bought the VR company, Oculus, in 2014. At the time, it allowed users to log in with their Oculus accounts until the launch of the Quest 2 headset.
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To use the Quest 2 headset, users must now have a Facebook account; and it also plans to cut support for the older device.
German regulator The Bundeskartellamt says it is carrying out the investigation because Facebook is already a dominant player in the social media market in Germany; and was now “an important player in the emerging but growing VR (virtual reality) market”.
This is not Facebook’s first brush with German regulators. In fact, the company has voluntarily stopped selling VR headsets in the country over regulatory issues. It had previously been told not to combine different data sets from multiple services it owns; and the case is still before the German courts.
Facebook says it will cooperate with the regulators in Germany. “While Oculus devices are not currently available for sale in Germany, we will cooperate fully with the Bundeskartellamt; and are confident we can demonstrate that there is no basis to the investigation,” the company said in a statement.
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