Since acquisition of Oculus, Facebook has been largely criticized for their policy to force Oculus Users to tied their VR headset to their Facebook account. This means Oculus users without a Facebook account will be forced to signup for one even if they do not have one.
This week, Gemerany's Federal Cartel Office, Bundeskartellamt, made announcement that they are taking official legal action against Facebook. The German authority is in the process of reviewing the relationship between the Oculus VR platform and the iconic social media Facebook platform.
President of the German Federal Cartel Office, says that the giant social media platform could constitute a prohibit abuse of dominance by Facebook by forcing new Oculus VR users to link VR products to the social network.
Facebook currently holds a social network dominance in Germany, and is already a key player in the emerging virtual reality industry, the German authority must examine how this Facebook policy will be perceived as monopoly in both VR and social media.
Perhaps this may be the reason why Facebook abruptly stopped all Oculus product sales in Germany back in September. Germany residents must now purchase Oculus products from neighboring countries and it’s likely that this situation will persist for sometime. This is not the first time Facebook is under scrutiny by German officials. Back in 2019, German Federal Cartel Office imposed stringent regulations on Facebook in Germany for their user data policies, how to collect and use user data. The litigation hearing is set for March, 2021 at the Düsseldorf’s Higher Regional Court.
Meanwhile, Facebook is now facing lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court with similar allegations for monopoly behaviors, which is illegal under the US law. The primary target are Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram. Although Oculus was not directly mentioned in the case, it’s likely that the outcome will have ripple affects on the giant social media’s umbrellas.