FTC approves Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR

Oculus Rift Crystal Cove hands on 2

Facebook has been given the go-ahead from the Federal Trade Commission to purchase virtual reality start-up Oculus VR Inc. (via Reuters). CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s plan to buy Oculus on March 25 for $2 billion as part of an effort to plant the company’s flag early on “the platforms of tomorrow.”

The Oculus purchase is Facebook’s first foray into hardware, and it has generated a considerable amount of backlash from the company’s Kickstarter backer community, including a high-profile withdrawal of support from Minecraft creator Marcus “Notch” Persson. The FTC and Department of Justice’s approval may be the final nail in the coffin for held-out hopes that the deal may collapse.

This comes close on the tail of Facebook’s announced purchase of messaging service WhatsApp in February for $1 billion, much like their much-discussed purchase of Instagram in 2012 for another $1 billion. In addition to buying up technologies further and further afield from the social network’s original purpose, Facebook has also announced sinister-sounding ambitions to bring the Internet to everyone using “drones, satellites, and lasers.”

Clearly, Zuckerberg’s company has joined Google in the race to first  become our dystopian technocrat overlord.

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