Meta is back in the VR business in Germany


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Meta has responded to the concerns of the German Federal Cartel Office: After two years, Meta’s VR Quest headsets are now returning to Germany.

Meta Quest 2 is expected to hit the German market later this year, and the Quest Pro will follow as soon as possible, according to a company spokesperson. The company’s successful VR headsets were not available in Germany until now because Meta has voluntarily stopped selling them.

Meta cited an investigation by the German Federal Cartel Office, which began in December 2020, as the reason. The investigation focused on the linking of Meta’s VR offer (Oculus Quest, Quest 2) with the Facebook social network.

Meta meets the requirements of the German competition authority with the Meta account

“In this procedure, the Bundeskartellamt has not yet decided or given Meta any specific legal requirements,” German competition authority spokesman Kay Weidner said as recently as October. The sell strategy for Germany so far is therefore solely based on Meta’s decision.

Weidner said it was welcome that Meta allowed the use of VR products without a Facebook login through the recently introduced Meta account. According to Weidner, the company is in discussions about the specific terms of this registration process.

Less than a month later, the first results of the talks are now on the table: “Meta responded to our concerns and offered a solution by creating a separate Meta account for the use of Quest headsets”, said Andreas Mundt, President of the German Federal Cartel Office. The office confirmed that at no time had it imposed a sales halt on Meta.

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Meta Quest will soon be sold in Germany, but the process continues

With the adjustments made, in particular the Meta account, the company therefore seems to have met the basic requirements of the Federal Cartel Office and to have ended its previously self-imposed abstinence from the German market.

But the procedure does not stop there: “Despite this welcome development, we are not concluding the procedure today. We first want to continue to monitor the actual design of the choices available to users, as well as issues related to the merging and processing of user data from the various Meta services,” Mundt said.

The German competition authority considers Meta’s concession a success for its effectiveness on digital businesses: “This case clarifies that Section 19a GWB, the new instrument for more effective supervision of digital businesses, can be used to solve specifically competition concerns in practice.”

It is not yet known exactly when the Quest products will be available in Germany.

Sources: Bundeskartellamt, Heise


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