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UK’s competition authority orders Facebook to sell Giphy in an unprecedented ruling

The CMA assessed the impact of Giphy’s integration with Facebook on UK advertisers and users to reach a decision.

UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on November 30 ordered Facebook (now Meta) to sell Giphy, after concluding that the deal could harm social media users and UK advertisers and that these concerns “can only be addressed by Facebook selling Giphy in its entirety to an approved buyer.” Giphy, a popular online database and search engine for GIFs, was acquired by Facebook in May 2020 for a reported $400 million. But CMA launched a probe into the acquisition arguing that it was potentially anti-competitive and in July 2020 ordered Facebook to stop the integration of Giphy into the company pending a further ruling. This is the first time CMA has ordered a divestment of a completed acquisition by a tech giant, setting a precedent for future big tech purchases. Other major acquisitions by Facebook include WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus, and lawmakers in some…

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