Germany opens antitrust probe into Facebook and Oculus account linking

“In the future, the use of the new Oculus glasses requires the user to also have a Facebook account. Linking virtual reality products and the group’s social network in this way could constitute a prohibited abuse of dominance by Facebook,” the agency’s president Andreas Mundt said in a statement. “With its social network Facebook holds a dominant position in Germany and is also already an important player in the emerging but growing VR (virtual reality) market. We intend to examine whether and to what extent this tying arrangement will affect competition in both areas of activity.”

In 2019, the Bundeskartellamt imposed restrictions on Facebook’s methods of tying user data together. It said that the company could only link someone’s WhatsApp and Instagram data with their Facebook account if they give it permission to do so. Facebook appealed the measures and a court suspended the enforcement of them. Germany’s federal court overturned that ruling earlier this year, but Facebook still has some legal avenues it can pursue to block the restrictions.