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Meta agrees to sell Giphy to comply with UK antitrust order

The order to sell Giphy will “promote innovation in digital advertising”, says the UK CMA as Meta terms it “disappointing”

What's the news: The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on October 18 ordered Meta to sell Giphy, noting that the takeover "could allow Meta to limit other social media platforms’ access to GIFs, making those sites less attractive to users and less competitive." CMA also noted that the deal "removed Giphy as a potential challenger in the UK display advertising market, preventing UK businesses from benefiting from innovation in this market." 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. Wasn't the same order passes in 2021? Yes. In November 2021, CMA ordered  Meta to sell Giphy, but the social media giant subsequently appealed that decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). In July, CAT upheld the CMA’s decision on 5 of the 6 challenged grounds, CMA stated in its press release. Meta agrees to sell, will not appeal: Meta has agreed to abide by the CMA's decision and said that it will not appeal. "We are disappointed by the CMA's decision but accept today's ruling as the final word on the matter. We will work closely with the CMA on divesting Giphy." — A Metaspoksperson told Reuters Why does this matter: This is the first time the CMA has ordered a divestment of a completed acquisition…

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