Last Updated on 01/12/2021 by Sanskriti
The UK competition authority has ordered Facebook owner Meta to sell popular animated photos app Giphy, marking the country’s first action against so-called “Big Tech” in its efforts to tighten regulation. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that Facebook’s purchase of Giphy last year will restrict competition between social media platforms and display advertising.
Facebook, which was recently renamed as Meta Platforms, has indicated that it may file an appeal with the CMA. There are four weeks left to file an appeal.
chair of the independent investigation on Facebook-Giphy for the CMA, Stuart McIntosh, “The tie-up between Facebook and Giphy has already removed a potential challenger in the display advertising market.”
“By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising.”
“Facebook terminated Giphy’s advertising services at the time of the merger, removing an important source of potential competition,” the regulator wrote. “The CMA considers this particularly concerning given that Facebook controls nearly half of the £7 billion display advertising market in the UK.”
Meta previously stated that the CMA lacked jurisdiction since Giphy had no operations in the United Kingdom and that Giphy’s paid services did not fall within the CMA’s definition of display advertising. Meta was fined $70 million by the authority in October for breaching transaction regulations by neglecting to provide needed information and transferring its chief compliance officer twice without approval.
“We disagree with this decision. We are reviewing the decision and considering all options, including appeal. Both consumers and Giphy are better off with the support of our infrastructure, talent, and resource,” a Meta spokesperson told Engadget in a statement. “Together, Meta and Giphy would enhance Giphy’s product for the millions of people, businesses, developers, and API partners in the UK and around the world who use Giphy every day, providing more choices for everyone.”