Facebook’s virtual helmet opens an investigation in Germany


German competition authorities announced the opening of an investigation into a possible violation of Facebook regarding its new wireless virtual reality helmet. The head of this anti-monopoly authority, Andreas Mundt, said: “The use of Oculus glasses will not be possible without an account on Facebook,” explaining that “this link between virtual reality products and the social network may violate the principle that the dominant position in the market should not be exploited.” The commission’s intention to open an investigation in this regard.

This device, which bears the name “Oculus Quest”, is used to indulge in graphic designs for highly accurate games. Virtual reality technology has interest in many sectors, from video games to security issues, through cinema, health and culture, but it has not yet found a viable economic model among the general public. Facebook began integrating its virtual reality products, which were sold on a separate platform in its global social network, under the name “Facebook Realty Labs”, where this option is offered as an additional service on the network.

The American giant expressed its conviction in its ability to allay the fears of the German competition regulator. A spokeswoman for the American group said, “We will fully cooperate with the German authority, and we are convinced that we can show that this investigation is not justified,” noting that the virtual reality glasses have not yet been put on the German market. Facebook is facing with the German Competition Authority over the use of users’ private data, while the group generally faces increasing pressure from competition regulators around the world. Several US agencies accused Facebook of using its market dominance and its vast financial resources to topple its competitors, and asked the judiciary to compel the group to abandon the “Instagram” and “WhatsApp” apps.

On the other hand, Facebook achieved a judicial victory in Germany over its decision to ban the use of pseudonyms on its network.

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