UK regulator’s order for Meta to sell Giphy is under review — again

UK regulator’s order for Meta to sell Giphy is under review — again

July 18, 2022 0 By Jumoka Cobbs

There’s been another twist in the saga of Meta’s attempt to buy GIF-sharing service Giphy, Bloomberg reports. Judges with the Competition Appeal Tribunal have told the UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to reconsider its previous ruling telling Meta to sell Giphy. “We have agreed to reconsider our decision in light of this finding,” the CMA told Bloomberg in a statement. It hopes the process will take no longer than three months.

The ruling comes a month after the same tribunal largely sided with the regulator after Meta appealed its order to unwind the deal and sell Giphy. The tribunal found in favor of the CMA on five out of the six claims, but, crucially, on the remaining claim, it ruled that the CMA had failed to properly inform Meta of Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat, thus undermining the company’s defense. Now, to remediate the error, the CMA will reconsider its ruling, and Meta will have the opportunity to comment on the CMA’s final report.

Meta (then known as Facebook) announced its intention to buy Giphy over two years ago, in May 2020. But the deal quickly attracted the attention of the UK’s competition regulator, who was concerned that, among other things, Meta’s ownership of the popular gif-sharing service could limit other platforms’ access to its content. As a result, last November, the CMA officially ordered Meta to unwind the deal and sell Giphy

A representative from Meta declined to comment to The Verge on the latest ruling. But in response to the tribunal’s findings last month, Meta spokesperson Christopher Sgro reiterated that “We firmly believe our investment would enhance Giphy’s product for the millions of people, businesses, and partners who use it.”

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