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United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division
January 31, 2023, Decided; February 3, 2023, Filed
Case No. 5:22-cv-04325-EJD
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
Re: ECF Nos. 108, 164, 470
This action was brought by Plaintiff Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") to block the merger between a virtual reality ("VR") device provider and a VR software developer. Defendant Meta Platforms Inc. ("Meta") has agreed to acquire all shares of Within Unlimited, Inc. ("Within," collectively with Meta, "Defendants"). The FTC has come before the Court to seek preliminary injunctive relief pursuant to Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), to enjoin Defendants from consummating their proposed merger (the "Acquisition") pending the outcome [*2] of ongoing administrative proceedings before the FTC. ECF Nos. 101, 164.
In addition to the FTC's motion for preliminary injunction, Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint ("FAC") and a motion to strike the opinion of the FTC's expert, Dr. Hal J. Singer, regarding the relevant product market definition. ECF Nos. 108, 470.
Over the course of a seven-day evidentiary hearing, the Court heard the parties' arguments and evidence. The Court has also received briefing on all pending motions, as well as pre-hearing and post-hearing submissions of the parties' proposed findings of fact. Having considered the parties' submissions and evidence, the Court DENIES Defendants' motion to dismiss, DENIES the Defendants' motion to strike, and DENIES the FTC's motion for preliminary injunction.
I. FACTUAL FINDINGS
A. Defendant Meta Platforms, Inc.
1. Defendant Meta Platforms, Inc. is a publicly traded corporation organized under Delaware law and headquartered in Menlo Park, California. DX1237, at 11. Meta operates a collection of social networking platforms referred to as its "Family of Apps," which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. PX0937, at 51. Meta also manufactures [*3] VR devices, such as the Quest 2 and the Quest Pro headsets, through its Reality Labs division. Stojsavljevic Hr'g Tr. 71:2-13; 74:10-19.
2. VR technology enables users to experience and interact with a digitally generated three-dimensional environment by wearing a headset with stereoscopic displays in front of each eye. Stojsavljevic Hr'g Tr. 72:25-74:9. Users can download a wide variety of VR software applications ("apps") from digital marketplaces, or app stores, for use on their personal VR devices. Pruett Hr'g Tr. 219:19-25. Quest headsets are designed so that a user's geolocation determines what content is available and at what price. Stojsavljevic Hr'g Tr. 79:23-80:6.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29832 *; 2023 WL 2346238
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Plaintiff, v. META PLATFORMS INC., et al., Defendants.
Prior History: FTC v. Meta Platforms Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199854, 2022 WL 16637996 (N.D. Cal., Nov. 2, 2022)
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