The UK’s competition watchdog orders Meta to sell Giphy

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) rejected Meta’s (formerly known as Facebook) appeal and ordered the company to sell Giphy, the platform for making animated gifs. The CMA determined that the acquisition of Giphy might harm social media users, advertising, and competition. The ruling represents the first time the UK has blocked an already completed deal by a Big Tech company.

The decision came after CMA found that Meta’s purchase of Giphy could allow Meta to limit other social media platforms’ access to GIFs, making those sites less attractive to users and less competitive. CMA also ruled that such a deal removed Giphy as a potential challenger in the UK display advertising market, preventing UK businesses from benefiting from innovation in this market.’ 

Last November, the CMA ordered Meta to sell Giphy after finding the merger would raise competition concerns. Meta tried to appeal the decision. However, in June, a court ruled against the company’s appeal. After a three-month deliberation, the British watchdog made a final decision, concluding that the deal would allow Meta to further strengthen its position in the market.