Feds green-light Facebook acquisition

 

Federal antitrust regulators have cleared Facebook’s purchase of virtual reality company Oculus VR, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Wednesday.

The nod of approval allows the $2 billion acquisition to go through, making it the social media giant's second major business deal that regulators have approved in recent weeks.

The Oculus purchase was announced last month, and is part of the company’s strategy of expanding beyond its traditional presence on the Web.

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Oculus builds virtual reality hardware like Oculus Rift, a headset for 3-dimensional gaming. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said the company's technology could also be used to to improve the act of watching sports or going to class.

“Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home,” he said in a Facebook post when the deal was announced.

“By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that the company was “pleased the FTC has cleared our acquisition of Oculus."

In addition to the virtual reality firm, regulators this month approved Facebook’s $19 billion deal to acquire WhatsApp, a messaging tool. In doing so, regulators also warned the company about making changes to its privacy policy.