Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is appealing a British court decision requiring it to sell Giphy, an animated picture platform, claiming that the evidence does not support the conclusion that the purchase is a danger to competitors or might affect display advertising competition.
The Competition and Markets Authority ruled on Thursday that the 2020 agreement must be undone and Giphy sold as a continuing concern, and Meta filed an appeal.
The regulator’s judgement in November was the first time it has prevented a big tech business from acquiring another.
The Meta spokesperson said, “We are appealing the CMA’s Giphy decision and will seek a stay of the CMA’s order to divest.”
“The decision to block the deal is wrong on the law and the facts, and the evidence does not support the CMA’s conclusions or remedy.”
The CMA has increased its investigation of “big tech,” particularly Facebook and Google, which dominate digital advertising, under the leadership of Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli.
Coscelli has established a digital markets section and wants new laws to back it up.
Coscelli believed that there had been the previous under-enforcement in digital marketplaces, according to competition lawyer Peter Broadhurst of Crowell & Moring.
Meta’s platforms Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp provide for half of the traffic to Giphy’s massive collection of looping videos.