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UK Regulator Says Facebook’s Giphy Deal Raises Competition Concerns

 |  August 12, 2021

The UK’s competition regulator announced Thursday, August 12, that Facebook’s acquisition of popular GIF website Giphy presents competition concerns.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has provisionally found Facebook’s purchase of Giphy will harm competition between social media platforms and remove a potential challenger in the display advertising market.

The CMA stated it may require Facebook to unwind the deal, which is reportedly worth US$400 million, and sell off Giphy if its competition concerns are ultimately confirmed.

It’s the latest sign that the UK regulator isn’t happy with the power exerted by Silicon Valley’s tech giants and a rare example of an overseas regulator looking to unwind a deal involving two American firms.

Read More: Facebook Loses UK Appeal Over Giphy Merger

Millions of GIFs are shared on social media websites like Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, as well as via email and text messages. Most social media platforms rely on access to Giphy’s database of GIFs, while some also come from Google’s Tenor.

Facebook’s ownership of Giphy could lead it to deny other platforms access to its GIFs, the CMA stated.