“By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising.”
The United Kingdom’s antitrust watchdog has blocked Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy and ordered the social network to sell off the GIF-sharing platform, saying the deal hurts social media users and advertisers by stifling competition for animated images, AP reports.
The Competition and Markets Authority said Tuesday that the deal would let Facebook “increase its already significant market power” by denying or limiting other platforms’ access to Giphy GIFs and driving traffic to Facebook-owned sites. It has noted previously that there’s only one other big provider of GIFs, Google’s Tenor.
The regulator also was concerned that the deal removed potential competition from the U.K.’s 7 billion pound ($9.3 billion) display advertising market, of which Facebook controls half.
Facebook, which has been renamed Meta, said it disagreed with the decision and is considering all its options, including an appeal.
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