Target (Facebook) still not giving up trying to buy Giphy. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has received a positive nod from the UK Court of Competition Appeal, that stopped the decision of the regulators of that country that forced it to sell the popular GIF platform. Now, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will have to carry out a new investigation and reconsider whether the agreement really is anti-competitive.
as collected Bloomberg, the ruling of the appellate judges indicated that the CMA “failed to adequately consult” on certain points of its investigation. But in addition, he considered that he “incorrectly drafted” the material, which ended up affecting the decision. The regulators accepted the setback and reported that they plan to have the result of the new analysis in about three months.
Undoubtedly, this represents a serious blow to the British Competition and Markets Authority, as well as a win for Meta. And although the last word has not yet been said, the brake on the sale of Giphy sets an interesting precedent for the American company, in its usual fight with international regulatory entities.
The CMA had ordered that Facebook’s parent company sell Giphy at the end of last November, after announcing the final decision of its investigation. The determination was not a surprise, considering that the preliminary conclusions published in August went the same way.
According to the UK authorities, Mark Zuckerberg’s acquisition of the popular GIF platform was not only a problem of competition in social networks. They also considered that Meta was removing from the market a potential rival in the segment of the display graphic advertising.
Meta wins a key match to complete Giphy’s purchase
Facebook announced the acquisition of Giphy in May 2020, after paying nothing less than $400 million. His idea was to integrate the entire GIF library on Instagram, which already represented 25% of the popular platform’s traffic. However, it had been clarified that the APIs would still be available to developers, and that users could continue to create and share animations.
However, more than a year after the original announcement, the purchase remained in limbo due to lack of approval from UK regulators. And the ruling against Meta did nothing but strain the relationship between the two parties. In fact, the US firm appealed the decision that forced it to part with Giphy in its entirety, which led to the determination that was made known this Monday.
In the middle, there was a permanent “pull and loosen” between Facebook and the CMA. To the point that, last February, British regulators imposed a fine of £1,500,000 for failing to report the departure of three “key employees” from the company. A derisory sum, but it showed that they intended to go to the last consequences.
The thing is that now the Competition and Markets Authority has received a setback that it surely did not expect. At the moment, the points of conflict of the original decision are unknown, but in the next 90 days, more news will surely be disclosed. What is clear is that, more than two years after the original purchase announcement, Giphy is still waiting to know if he will be part of Meta, or not.
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Meta avoids, for now, having to sell Giphy