Facebook spent $2 billion in 2014 to acquire Oculus, maker of the Rift, a virtual reality handset—but with tepid sales and a bothersome legal battle, the social network may be questioning its decision.
Earlier this year a jury found that the Oculus was created with stolen computer code, honoring ZeniMax Media’s request for a court ordering blocking sales of the Rift.
It’s a tough spot for Facebook: even if the company can successfully appeal the decision, altering the Oculus software code to avoid the stolen tech would be “lengthy, burdensome, and costly,” according to the company.
Instead, Facebook would rather pay out damages to ZeniMax to the tune of $50 million.
The battle over the code dates back to 2012, before Facebook acquired Oculus, when a programmer for ZeniMax helped develop a crude VR prototype on the side before joining the startup as chief technology officer.
The virtual and augmeneted reality hardware market could exceed $40 billion in sales in 2020, according to data from Bloomberg.