Meta takes on UK watchdog in £249m competition row over Giphy tie-up
Facebook’s parent firm Meta has started the appeal process against the UK’s decision to block its tie-up with Giphy for $315m (£249m).
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made the initial order for Meta to unwind the deal last year, following the social media giant’s initial acquisition in May 2020. The watchdog also ordered Meta to pay £1.5m in fines for breaching regulatory rules.
The main rationale behind the watchdog’s decision was that the combination removed competition in the display advertising space and warning Meta’s ownership could lead to the restriction of GIFs for competitors.
Meta, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said Giphy’s ad platform never had significant market potential and was therefore not restricting the market in an unfair way.
Meta lawyers have pointed to rival Snap’s attempt to buy Giphy for a significantly lower price of $142m as a key sign of its 2020 market potential.
Meanwhile, the CMA said it would defend its decision “vigorously”.