Oculus purchase details surface in Zuckerberg testimony


MANILA, Philippines – Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared in a Dallas court on Tuesday, Jan 17, US time, testifying in a case that accuses virtual reality company Oculus of using stolen technology. The plaintiff, Zenimax Media, said that one of their employees, John Carmack, shared VR technology, which Oculus used to build their products. 

Zuckerberg, whose company bought Oculus in 2014, denied the allegation. "We [Facebook] are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology. The idea that Oculus products are based on someone else's technology is just wrong," said the Facebook co-founder, as reported in The New York Times

He also said that it's just common for other companies to come out of the woodwork and claim that the technology is theirs when a big deal goes down. He also claimed that he's never have heard of Zenimax before, a company that owns several studios behind hit games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls

Zuckerberg also made statements on VR's potential, saying that VR – at least the good, sticky kind – is not there yet. He estimates that it will take at least 5 to 10 more years of development before the potential of the technology is completely realized. Several VR products are already out in the market but are still far from making the same impact that mobile phones once created.

Part of the reason why the Facebook boss bought the VR startup years back was because he believed that VR was the next big wave in technology. At the trial, he reiterated their commitment to the technology and said that they'll have to invest $3 billion more in the next decade to make a product fit for mass adoption.

Rush job

Zenimax's lawyers contend that in Facebook's rush to snap up Oculus, the social network overlooked some details – including the company's intellectual property disputes with Zenimax. Zuckerberg denied this too, saying that they take their time to review potential issues surrounding an acquisition.

In the case of Oculus, he said that they did months of research prior to the acquisition, rejecting the plaintiff's accusation that it only took them one weekend.

Once Facebook does decide though, Zuckerberg says they make sure that negotiations are done quickly – because drawn-out negotiations are expensive and rival tech companies such as Google and Apple may be looking to bid too. 

This led to the revelation that Facebook actually paid more than the $2 billion purchase price that observers had originally known. The company actually paid $3 billion in total – $700 million of which was used to retain key Oculus employees, and an additional $300 million as a bonus for hitting milestones. 

Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe originally asked for $4 billion.

Iribe, along with Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, will be testifying later in the week in a case that could net Zenimax $2 billion if victorious. – Rappler.com