Cupertino Facebook owner Meta has suffered its first drop in revenue since its IPO in 2012. In the second quarter, revenues fell slightly by one percent to $ 28.8 billion, as the world’s largest Internet network announced on Wednesday after the US stock market closed. The profit even fell by 36 percent to $ 6.69 billion. This is also related to the higher costs. Meta currently has around 83,500 employees, about a third more than a year ago.
Facebook Instagram, which includes services like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, is also skeptical about the current quarter, leaving a wide range of $ 26 billion to $ 28.5 billion in revenue expectations. This means that a new decline has been priced in. In the third quarter of 2021, Meta generated almost $ 28.3 billion.
Meta also faces trouble with the antitrust authorities: US competition authorities are targeting the Group’s strong market position in the virtual reality business for the first time. The trade authority FTC went to court to prevent the purchase of a developer company by Meta.
With virtual reality, users can immerse themselves in digital worlds with special glasses on their heads. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg bet early on the business with the purchase of VR glasses pioneer Oculus in 2014. The group is now a leading player in the market with glasses and a platform for VR content. Zuckerberg also announced the goal of establishing a virtual world – the “metaverse” – as a future computer platform. This also has to do with the change of the group name from Facebook to Meta.
The company Within Unlimited, which wants to buy Meta, is behind a VR fitness app called “Supernatural”. The FTC argues that Meta, with its “VR empire”, wants to occupy this market by buying it up, instead of competing for it with its own offer.
The acquisition could lead to less competition and potentially higher prices, according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday. And Meta would be one step closer to the ultimate goal of owning the entire “metaverse”.” Meta already owns the VR app “Beat Saber”, which is also designed for movement. The Group has bought several VR specialists in recent years. According to a media report, Meta wants the purchase of Within, announced last fall, to cost over $ 400 million.
Meta countered that the FTC lawsuit was based on “ideology and speculation” rather than facts. The idea that the takeover would be anti-competitive is “implausible,” a group spokesman told the technology blog The Verge.
Under its new BOSS, Lina Khan, the FTC is taking a tougher line against the big tech companies, which had long benefited from rather lax competition supervision in the USA.