There has been a sales stop for VR glasses from the Meta Group in Germany since 2020. This should also apply to the newly expected Meta Quest Pro. The background to this are the Bundeskartellamt’s concerns about the meta group’s supremacy in the metaverse.
If you believe tech augurs, the new virtual reality headset Meta Quest Pro will be a hit: easy to wear, unique quality – a real game changer and an important milestone on the way to widespread acceptance of the Metaverse. Just not in Germany.
Because according to a report in the “Handelsblatt”, Meta will not deliver the new VR glasses in Germany. In 2020, the Facebook parent stopped selling VR devices in Germany in response to abuse proceedings by the Federal Cartel Office – and the new miracle glasses should also be affected.
The reason for the concerns of the head of the Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, is that each Quest pair of glasses requires a Facebook account, without which the owner cannot use them sensibly. Mundt said in 2020: “This link between virtual reality products and the group’s social network could constitute a prohibited abuse of a dominant position by Facebook.”
Tough stance of the Cartel Office
This tough attitude is surprising, because Apple also requires an Apple account from every iPhone buyer, and without a Google account, an Android smartphone is not much fun. On the other hand, Facebook has a special leadership position in VR headsets. Since acquiring VR technology leader Oculus in 2014, Meta’s lead over the competition has widened. Experts estimate that Meta VR glasses now have a global market share of 80 percent.
According to Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, his vision of the Metaverse will be a virtual world, the use of which requires VR glasses. By stopping the sale of Quest glasses in Germany, Zuckerberg is deliberately blocking German customers from his version of the Metaverse.
Glasses from other EU countries?
It remains to be seen to what extent this sales stop will have a lasting impact on the spread of the Metaverse. As long as the abuse proceedings against Facebook do not spread to the entire EU, customers who do not mind a link between glasses and account should not have any major problems obtaining the coveted piece from a dealer in other European countries. It is also questionable whether Meta will only open its Metaverse offerings to users who have bought its own hardware – like Apple does – or whether the Meta-Metaverse is open to anyone who owns any VR device. That would be a path we would expect Google and Amazon to take.
The decisive factor will be where the revenue streams that finance the Metaverse are to come from. A Walled Garden á la Apple would rely more on proceeds from hardware sales and membership fees, an open model would be fed more from advertising revenues and sales commissions.
Source: com! professional by www.com-magazin.de.
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