Facebook owner Meta has applied to be able to appeal the competition watchdog ruling, which ordered it to sell popular animated images platform Giphy.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in November that the acquisition of Giphy would reduce competition between social media platforms and in display advertising, harming social media users and businesses in the UK.
The independent panel reviewing the merger concluded that Meta would be able to increase its already significant market power in relation to other social media platforms by denying or limiting other platforms’ access to Giphy GIFs.
In turn, this would drive more traffic to Facebook-owned sites like WhatsApp and Instagram, which already account for 73 per cent of user time spent on social media in the UK.
In a bid to placate the regulator Meta said it would not restrict access for its competitors or collect data from the use of GIFs, even offering to make the requirement legally binding. However, the CMA rejected the remedy in part because it would require ongoing monitoring.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal said this morning that Meta had lodged an application for review on December 23, challenging this ruling on six grounds.