UK Regulator Expected To Block Meta’s Giphy Deal

The UK competition regulator is expected to block Meta’s $315m acquisition of online gif platform Giphy in the coming days in an escalation of the watchdog’s assault on Big Tech. Financial Times: The Competition and Markets Authority is set to reverse the deal according to individuals close to the matter, in what would be the first time the CMA has unwound a Big Tech deal. The watchdog began investigating Meta’s acquisition of New-York based Giphy — the biggest provider of animated images known as gifs to social networks — in June last year. A decision to block the deal would set an eye-catching precedent from the UK regulator, which has never sought to reverse a completed tech deal. In August the CMA provisionally ruled Meta, formerly known as Facebook, should be forced to sell Giphy due to competition concerns. It has until December 1 to make a final call. At that time the CMA argued Meta could cut off its rivals’ access to gifs, and demand platforms like TikTok or Snapchat hand over more of their data in order to access gifs, consolidating power in Meta’s hands. The watchdog also said the deal could remove a competitor to Meta in the display advertising market in the UK, despite Giphy’s lack of presence in that sector.

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