Bulletins

Meta's Giphy purchase is getting a new U.K. investigation

A U.K. judge ordered the CMA to conduct a new review into the acquisition after finding flaws in its initial decision.

Giphy logo displayed on a phone screen, along with the reflection of a Meta logo displayed on a laptop screen.
U.S. tech skeptics see international competition enforcers taking aggressive action against companies.
Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.K. in November ordered Meta to sell off Giphy — which it had acquired only the year before — because of competition concerns, which was a big deal for a relatively small acquisition. But U.K. regulators are now going back to the drawing board on their investigation after a judge found gaps in its initial probe.


A U.K. judge ordered the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct another investigation into Meta's Giphy purchase after ruling that the agency didn't consult on some areas of the probe and took out some material that weakened its decision. The CMA plans to wrap up its new review within three months.

“We have agreed to reconsider our decision in light of this finding,” the CMA said in a statement to Bloomberg.

Tech skeptics were thrilled about the CMA's original decision last year, saying it shows increased scrutiny of Big Tech moves. But it hasn't been all smooth sailing since the order: an appeals tribunal upheld the CMA's decision last month, but it also found that the agency didn't inform Meta of Snapchat's Gyfcat purchase for almost a year after it became aware of the ruling. The tribunal planned to consult with Meta and the CMA on how to fix the error.

Meta did not immediately return Protocol's request for comment.

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