Taken on June 16, 2022, this illustration shows the Meta and Giphy logos.File photo / Reuters

LONDON: UK competition regulators have ordered Facebook owner Meta to sell animated image platform Giphy. He supported the view that there is a possibility of excluding the opponent.

Meta said it would accept the order of the Competition Market Authority (CMA) to roll back its 2020 deals.

“While we are disappointed with the CMA’s decision, we accept today’s decision as final on this matter,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with the CMA on the sale of Giphy.”

The ruling marks the first time regulators have forced a U.S. tech giant to sell an acquired company and signals a renewed determination to scrutinize digital deals.

Regulators around the world are becoming increasingly aggressive in curbing large corporations.

In early October, US antitrust regulators filed a lawsuit against Meta’s acquisition of virtual reality content maker Within Unlimited Inc, saying it “tends to create a monopoly” in the market for VR-only fitness apps.

The European Union has been at the forefront of the battle against tech giants, setting groundbreaking antitrust and privacy rules and paying billions of dollars in fines to force them to change their business models.

UK regulators valued at $400 million reported in November 2021 over concerns Meta could deny or limit access to Giphy’s GIFs by competitors such as Snapchat and Twitter You blocked a Giphy transaction.

Giphy also had no presence in the UK arena and was worried about losing a potential competitor in display advertising.

The CMA noted that UK users are looking for 1 billion GIFs a month on Giphy, with 73% of their time spent on social media being spent on Meta’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. .

Meta appealed the ruling, but the court upheld the CMA’s decision in June on five of the six grounds.

The CMA said it had considered new submissions and additional evidence from Meta and Giphy since the appeal, but had not changed its position.

Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent commission, said the deal would significantly reduce competition in the two markets.

“While it has already eliminated potential challengers in the UK display advertising market, it also allows Meta to further increase its substantial market dominance in social media.”

“The only way we can address this is by selling Giphy,” he added.

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