A PYMNTS Company

UK Watchdog To Reevaluate Decision To Unwind Meta’s Giphy Buy

 |  July 18, 2022

The UK’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, will reevaluate an order that it issued last year to unwind Meta Platforms Inc.’s acquisition of Giphy.

The CMA announced the move today. The regulator expects to complete its review of the order within three months. 

Giphy is a popular GIF sharing platform that Meta acquired in 2020 for $315 million. Later that year, the CMA launched an antitrust investigation into the deal. The CMA’s investigation concluded that the acquisition would reduce market competition and, in November 2021, the regulator directed Meta to sell Giphy.

Meta responded by filing an appeal with the U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal. The social media giant presented six arguments for why it should not be required to sell Giphy. Five of Meta’s arguments were dismissed by the tribunal, but one was partly accepted, which is the reason why the CMA is now reevaluating its decision to unwind the Giphy deal.

The part of Meta’s appeal that was partly accepted focused on the way that the CMA had managed the case.

After completing its antitrust investigation into the Giphy acquisition, the CMA drafted a set of provisional findings about the deal. The regulator then shared a redacted version of its provisional findings with Meta. In its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Meta argued that the fact it had only been given a redacted version of the findings and not the full report is grounds to dismiss the CMA’s decision.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.