With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• The Wall Street Journal reports that "a federal judge declined to halt Meta Platforms Inc.’s acquisition of the virtual-reality startup Within Unlimited, delivering a setback to antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission seeking to block the deal, a person familiar with the ruling said.
"In a sealed court decision issued overnight, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, Calif., denied the FTC’s request for an injunction blocking the proposed merger, the person said. The judge’s opinion, which isn’t yet public, is a boost to Meta’s virtual-reality ambitions and appears to vindicate for now the Facebook parent’s claims that the FTC overreached by bringing a flawed antitrust case."
It remains possible that the FTC could employ other means to block the acquisition, but the Journal notes that traditionally it will not do so once a federal judge has weighed in.
The question is whether the judge's ruling will be seen as specific to this case, or whether it indicates that the FTC's more aggressive approach to antitrust issues - which could affect companies like Amazon - will find limited acceptance in the courts.