The European Union regulators have formally issued an antitrust complaint against Adobe regarding its proposed $20 billion acquisition of Figma, a cloud-based product design platform.
According to The Verge, the move follows an exhaustive investigation initiated on August 7th by the European Commission, which concluded on Friday with a preliminary determination that the deal could “significantly reduce competition in the global markets” for interactive product design tools, vector editing tools, and raster editing tools.
The European Commission, in a statement of objections, outlined its concerns about the potential impact on competition. EU officials contend that Figma already wields a “significant constraining influence” over Adobe’s Illustrator and Photoshop editing tools. Moreover, they believe Figma is “significantly likely” to emerge as a formidable competitor in the market for vector and raster editing tools even without the proposed merger.
The statement of objections, however, does not preclude the outcome of the EU’s ongoing investigation, which is set to conclude on February 5th. Adobe and Figma now have the opportunity to respond to the objections in writing, presenting concessions that address the Commission’s specific regulatory concerns. Additionally, they can request a hearing, following which the European Commission will make a determination on whether the acquisition violates antitrust laws.
In response to the antitrust complaint, a spokesperson for Adobe expressed confidence in the merits of their case. The spokesperson stated to Bloomberg, “We remain confident in the merits of our case, as Figma’s product design is an adjacency to Adobe’s core creative products and Adobe has no meaningful plans to compete in the product design space.”
Similarly, a spokesperson for Figma told Bloomberg, “We feel confident in our ability to resolve regulators’ concerns and will continue to engage in constructive conversations focused on the benefits this deal will create for consumers and Europe’s innovation economy.”
The outcome of this antitrust investigation could have far-reaching implications for the competitive landscape in the global market for design tools, as two industry giants await the European Commission’s final decision.
Source: The Verge