UK competition regulator asks Facebook owner Meta to sell GIF maker Giphy



The new 3D printed Facebook rebranding logo Meta and the Facebook logo can be seen in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

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  • CMA in August hinted he might need Facebook to sell Giphy
  • Says deal hurts competition on social media and advertising
  • Facebook, now Meta, bought Giphy to integrate with Instagram

Nov. 30 (Reuters) – The UK competition regulator asked the owner of Facebook Meta Platforms (FB.O) to sell the animated image platform Giphy after discovering the acquisition could harm social media users and British advertisers, dealing a blow to the American tech giant. .

The Competition and Markers Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday the move was in line with tentative findings that Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy in May last year would reduce competition between social media platforms and on the display advertising market.

Facebook, recently rebranded as Meta Platforms, said it could appeal the CMA’s decision.

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This is not the first time that AMC has been involved in a major merger. In February, he said Viagogo had to sell part of Stubhub’s international business because their merger would reduce competition in the UK.

“The merger between Facebook and Giphy has already eliminated a potential challenger in the display advertising market,” said Stuart McIntosh, chairman of the independent Facebook-Giphy inquiry for the AMC.

“By forcing Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising,” he added.

Facebook said it disagreed with the decision.

“We are reviewing the decision and are considering all options, including the appeal,” a spokesperson for Meta said in a statement.

In October, the CMA fined the company around $ 70 million for violating an order imposed during its investigation into the deal, after hinting in August that it might need Facebook to sell. Giphy.

The CMA began an investigation into the deal in January this year and referred it in April to a full investigation.

Facebook bought Giphy, a website for creating and sharing animated images, or GIFs, for $ 400 million in May 2020 to integrate it with its photo-sharing app, Instagram. He defended the agreement and its proposals at the CMA on Giphy.

Google’s Tenor is another major GIF provider.

The CMA is actively studying the monopoly of major technologies. Last week, Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) pledged to further restrict its use of its Chrome browser data to address CMA’s concerns over plans to ban third-party cookies that advertisers are using to track consumers.

The Financial Times first reported on the CMA’s plans to block the Facebook-Giphy deal.

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Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; edited by Shounak Dasgupta, Jason Neely and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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