Meta killed metaverse yoga app due to Apple talks: Lawsuit

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    Andre Elijah has created a virtual reality yoga app where avatars of top instructors teach a variety of poses as well as Pilates and mindfulness.

    But the user may never see it. Meta Platforms Co., Ltd. Killed it just before launch time when I found out Meta was talking to Ilya Apple. and ByteDance’s Pico argues in its lawsuit against launching apps on competing VR platforms.

    According to Elijah, Meta canceled the AEI Fitness app just days before its announcement at MetaConnect, the world’s largest VR conference. He said the conference would have propelled the company to the top of his VR fitness app market, ultimately bringing in tens of millions of dollars in profits.

    “The process was hell, but we got there,” Elijah said in an interview, adding that the company created an “amazing” trailer for presentation at the conference. But as he prepared to attend CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote speech, he said, “They said, ‘No, the project has been canceled. We’re not giving you any money.'” says.

    rare glimpse

    The lawsuit is a rare glimpse inside the personal sacrifices developers made to embrace Meta’s company. full throttle push To the metaverse. The company has been under pressure from investors to sell more VR headsets after years of operating losses in its VR technology division. One of the barriers preventing consumers from purchasing more of his VR headsets is the lack of apps and content compared to mobile phones and computers.

    The VR fitness app market was valued at $16.4 billion last year and is expected to grow to more than $109 billion over the next seven years, according to an antitrust complaint Elijah filed this week in federal court in San Jose, California. .

    Quick take: What is the Metaverse, who is in it, and why is it important?

    The complaint depicts Mehta as conspiring to kill his own app as part of an ongoing effort to control the market for VR headsets and app distribution. Meta expelled Elijah from conferences and added his name to a “blacklist” of developers who refuse to do business with him, he claims.

    “Reducing innovation”

    According to his complaint, eliminating Elijah’s app “could reduce innovation, quality, and choice, reduce competitive pressure to attract the most talented app developers, and potentially increase the price of VR fitness apps.” There is.”

    Mehta did not respond to requests for comment.

    Elijah said Mehta has already paid about $1.5 million. He is seeking an additional $3.2 million in short-term damages and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue and damages.In the lawsuit, Zuckerberg and Aronamed as a defendant the Beverly Hills fitness apparel and accessories company that Elijah said his app uses.

    It’s unusual for a developer to sue a platform and risk scaring off other companies it wants to work with.

    “It’s tough.”

    “I never expected a situation like this. I’m still dealing with it,” Ilya said. “It’s tough.”

    The lawsuit comes as Apple plans to release the product. competing headsets, Apple Vision Pro will be released in the coming months. Meta has long been an industry leader in the VR headset market, but it could face significant competition from Apple.

    This isn’t the first time Meta has been accused of trying to corner the VR fitness app market. The US Federal Trade Commission has sought to block the company’s acquisition. Within Unlimited Co., Ltd., the makers of the popular Supernatural app, argued that Meta is denying consumers the benefit of adding a new competitor to the market. The agency withdrew earlier this year after a federal judge in San Jose denied a request to halt trading.

    The case is Andre Elijah Immersive Inc. v. Meta Platforms Technologies LLC, 5:23-cv-05159, United States District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

    — With assistance from Mark Gurman


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