The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has told Facebook which is now called Meta that the company cannot buy Giphy.
Facebook has actually purchased Giphy already so now the CMA has said that Facebook or Meta must now sell Giphy.
As part of its in-depth investigation, the CMA also looked at how the deal would affect the display advertising market. It found that, before the merger, Giphy had launched innovative advertising services which it was considering expanding to countries outside the US, including the UK. Giphy’s services allowed companies – such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi – to promote their brands through visual images and GIFs.
The CMA found that Giphy’s advertising services had the potential to compete with Facebook’s own display advertising services. They would have also encouraged greater innovation from others in the market, including social media sites and advertisers. Facebook terminated Giphy’s advertising services at the time of the merger, removing an important source of potential competition. The CMA considers this particularly concerning given that Facebook controls nearly half of the £7 billion display advertising market in the UK.
Meta has disagreed with the decision and they plan to appeal the ruling, you can see a statement given to Engadget below.
We disagree with this decision. We are reviewing the decision and considering all options, including appeal.
It will be interesting to see what happens and whether Meta are forced by the UK regulators to sell Giphy.