March 25, 2014 7:22 pm

Facebook purchases virtual reality company Oculus VR for $2 billion

This July 16, 2013 photo shows a sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.


TORONTO – Facebook announced Tuesday it’s buying virtual reality company Oculus VR, Inc. for approximately $2 billion.

Oculus is considered the leader in immersive virtual reality technology. Its first product, the Oculus Rift, is a headset that allows users to step into a 360-degree virtual environment and feel as if they are actually there. The technology has been geared towards gaming but has potential in areas such as communications.

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How Facebook plans to incorporate Oculus technology into its social media platform has yet to be revealed.

“Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate,” Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said in a press release.

The deal includes 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at $1.6 billion, and $400 million in cash. The agreement also includes an additional $300 million in cash and stock if certain milestones are reached. What those milestones are was not announced.

Oculus will continue to develop the Oculus Rift at its headquarters in Irvine, California.

In February, Facebook acquired mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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