In a move set to intensify the ongoing global scrutiny of Big Tech acquisitions, Adobe, the renowned Photoshop maker, is anticipating an antitrust warning from the European Union concerning its ambitious $20 billion bid for the cloud-based designer platform, Figma.
The revelation came from Dana Rao, Chief Counsel of Adobe, who expressed the company’s openness to proposing remedies to address any regulatory concerns that may arise.
In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Rao acknowledged the expectation of a statement of objections from the European Commission, confirming an earlier report by the news agency. “We are certainly open to the discussion of remedies. We absolutely want this deal to go through,” Rao emphasized, highlighting the importance of addressing any concerns raised by the EU competition enforcer.
The heightened regulatory scrutiny surrounding such acquisitions reflects a global trend, with authorities increasingly vigilant about transactions involving Big Tech companies that could enhance their market dominance or impact potential competitors, particularly emerging startups.
Rao indicated that any proposed remedies would hinge on the specifics outlined in the European Commission’s forthcoming document. The document is expected to elaborate on concerns raised when the EU competition enforcer initiated a comprehensive investigation in August. It remains to be seen whether the charge sheet will introduce new concerns or dismiss existing ones.
“Until we see the statement of objections and see exactly what the concerns are, we will be designing a solution without knowing what the problem is,” Rao stated, underlining the need for a clear understanding of the regulatory issues at hand.
In response to potential competition concerns, Rao clarified that Adobe does not view Figma as a significant competitor. He emphasized that the only relevant product in question is Adobe XD, the company’s design tool for web and mobile applications. Interestingly, Rao revealed that Adobe XD has incurred losses of $25 million over the last three years and employs only five full-time staff members.