UK orders Facebook to unwind 2020 Giphy deal as antitrust regulators seek to limit scale of Big Tech

Asia's Tech News Daily

UK orders Facebook to unwind 2020 Giphy deal as antitrust regulators seek to limit scale of Big Tech

Few would have predicted that short video loops of Kanye West or cats furiously typing on laptops would be the final straw for competition regulators.

Yet on Tuesday, the UK ordered Meta’s Facebook to sell Giphy, the animated file search engine it bought for US$315 million in 2020, in part because the deal would attract even more users to Meta’s portfolio of products.

Giphy gives users access to millions of GIFs, video clips often used to communicate in the digital age.

The decision from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the first time a major global regulator has weighed in against a Silicon Valley giant and ordered it to unwind a deal after completion.

Regulators have rued lost opportunities to limit the scale of big tech firms. Europe is currently setting in place rules to restrict “killer acquisitions,” where businesses buy a rival before it can become a threat. Meta’s other deals like its purchase of Instagram are possibly more problematic than Giphy.

“I think it’s a sign of collective regret by the antitrust enforcement agencies around the world that that deal and other ones like it got through, so now what we’re seeing is a reversion to a sort of perhaps more extreme line of enforcement,” Richard Pepper, a lawyer at Macfarlanes in Brussels, said.

Giphy, founded in 2013, built up a library of video clips and animated images that can be attached to messages. Facebook said a takeover would make it “easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers.” A Giphy spokesperson declined to comment. Facebook said was considering its options over whether to appeal.

The CMA was concerned that Giphy would allow Meta to tighten its hold on users, citing in its report that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram already accounts for “73% of user time spent on social media in the UK” The regulator had previously come under fire for waving those deals through.

While half of Giphy’s business involved Facebook and its apps, the company also provided the same search service to competitors such as Apple Inc.’s iMessage, Twitter Inc., Signal, and TikTok. Giphy also offered branded GIFs to big advertisers, a service Facebook quickly stopped after completing the deal.

The London-based CMA has been thrust into the spotlight since emerging from the shadow of EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager post-Brexit. Along with regulators in the EU and US, the agency has stepped up scrutiny of Google, Apple, and Facebook. It is also probing Nvidia’s much-contested takeover of Arm, on both competition and antitrust concerns.

UK orders Facebook to unwind 2020 Giphy deal as antitrust regulators seek to limit scale of Big Tech

The UK ordered Meta’s Facebook to sell Giphy, the animated file search engine it bought for US$315 million in 2020. Photo: Zuma Wire/dpa

“A stricter M&A policy will incentivise Big Tech to resort to organic growth strategies,” said Nicolas Petit, a competition professor at European University Institute. “If agencies are serious that they want to block mergers with non competitors, we’re going to see less incentives for small firms to develop products that work well with big tech platforms.”

A review by the Federal Trade Commission in September concluded that hundreds of deals by US technology giants flew under the radar of merger watchdogs due to various “loopholes.” The agency headed by Lina Khan hit Meta with a new antitrust case that seeks to revisit its purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram.

The UK is now leading the regulatory fightback. Britain’s top antitrust enforcer Andrea Coscelli, who leads the CMA, has made it clear the largest tech companies would face scrutiny for any transaction, no matter how small.

“We’re obviously very worried about Facebook’s position,” Coscelli said in a Bloomberg interview on October 23. “The idea that they are buying a competitor clearly seems to go in the wrong directions.”

The European Commission tested its ability to review smaller deals for the first time this year by objecting to biotech company Illumina’s attempted purchase of cancer diagnostics company Grail, which does not meet the usual thresholds for review.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Save $200 and bag a cheap RTX 3060 with today's gaming laptop deals at Best Buy

Best Buy’s featuring a ton of great gaming laptop deals this week, including this MSI GF65 for $899 (was $1099) – one of the cheapest we’ve ever seen with an ... Read more »

Data clean rooms could be the perfect technology for the privacy-first era

In the post-cookies world, companies will need to look for equally effective ways to collect, share and analyze data for the purposes of marketing, without compromising on privacy. One solution ... Read more »

Jeremy Corbyn Supporters Enjoy Clean Sweep In Election To Labour's Ruling Body

(Photo: Rob Stothard via Getty Images) The left-wing takeover of the Labour Party continued as allies of Jeremy Corbyn seized more control of its ruling body. Six Labour members backed ... Read more »

Amanda Holden sparks fan frenzy in thigh-high boots and sparkly bodysuit

Amanda Holden caused mass hysteria among her followers when she shared a jaw-dropping video of herself wearing very little on Saturday morning. MORE: Amanda Holden looks flawless in gorgeous must-see ... Read more »

Amanda Holden is the ultimate Charlie's Angel in slinky bodycon jumpsuit

Another day at the office means another seriously chic outfit for Amanda Holden! Putting a retro spin on her latest workwear look, the radio star headed to Global Studios in ... Read more »

Google manipulated advertising, harmed publishers, alleges Texas lawsuit

New Delhi, Google manipulated the advertising marketplace before pocketing the money and giving it to publishers who gave the company preferred access, it has been claimed in a bombshell lawsuit, ... Read more »

BMC launches WhatsApp Chatbot for civic services

Mumbai, Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – the country’s biggest and richest civic body – just got smarter, too, with the launch of a WhatsApp chatbot to deliver various services ... Read more »

All iPhone 14 models tipped to get 120Hz displays, 6GB of RAM

We probably won’t see the iPhone 14 handsets appear until September, but we’re seeing plenty of leaks and rumors in the meantime. Now we’ve got news of upgrades potentially coming ... Read more »

US states, FTC initiate probe into Meta's VR business: Report

Signalling more trouble for Meta (formerly Facebook), several US states have reportedly kicked off a probe into anti-trust violations in its Virtual Reality (VR) division, which seeks to build Metaverse.Attorneys ... Read more »

Tonga hit by tsunami as Australia, New Zealand and US issue alerts after huge volcanic eruption

An undersea volcano has erupted in the Pacific island nation of Tonga, sending large waves which prompted tsunami advisories across the South Pacific and the US. People have been forced ... Read more »

Wolves vs Southampton live stream: how to watch EPL online from anywhere, team news

The Saints head to the West Midlands today in an intriguing mid-table clash that brings together two of the Premier League’s in-form teams. Read on to find out how to ... Read more »

How to use a massage gun

A massage gun is a great addition to your workout routine, but to get the best performance it’s worth doing some reading before diving straight in. If you’re unfamiliar with ... Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs iPhone 13: has Samsung undercut Apple's phone champ?

Samsung’s struggles to get the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE to market are well-documented. A phone that was seemingly supposed to launch somewhere in the middle of 2021 ended up launching ... Read more »

Aston Villa vs Manchester United live stream: how to watch online from anywhere

Having lost in somewhat controversial circumstances earlier in the week to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the cup, this teatime EPL showdown offers Steven Gerrard’s men a quick-fire opportunity ... Read more »

The first YouTube video to 10 billion views: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current ... Read more »

Skip the grocery store—try Misfits Market and save 50% on four boxes

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Grocery shortages have meant bare shelves at the store across many ... Read more »

Where – and how – to sell your old or unwanted tech gear, from phones to digital cameras

Now that you have new gear, some options for selling used smartphones, laptops and camera equipment include Craigslist and sites that buy directly. Read more »

How – and where – to sell your old or unwanted tech gear, from phones to digital cameras

If you unwrapped a brand-new iPhone or Fitbit over the holidays, what are you going to do with your old device? Or perhaps you treated yourself to a shiny new ... Read more »

Inside Xbox's backward compatibility journey with Series X development chief, Jason Ronald

When Microsoft ruled out backward compatibility during the Xbox One’s launch in 2013, it just seemed like par for the course. At the time, consumers were generally expected to start ... Read more »

FPS Boost on Xbox Series X could come to more games in the future

FPS Boost, a feature on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S that can quadruple the frame rate of backward compatible titles, could benefit more games in the future. Speaking ... Read more »

I just made one of the strangest – and best – upgrades to my PC

The curse of being a PC gamer who loves building and upgrading your computer is that you’re obsessively keeping an eye on the latest components and thinking about how to ... Read more »

The Witcher season 3: cast, plot and everything we know

Are you ready for more Witcher action on Netflix? You better be. The streaming giant’s TV adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy novels is getting a third season. Given its popularity, ... Read more »

Expect more worrisome variants after omicron, scientists say

Travel nurses reflect on COVID pandemic as 2-year anniversary approaches Fastaff travel nurses Lydia Mobley and Alex Stow describe the exhausting COVID fight on the front lines, and share a ... Read more »

This Nectar winter sale promises cozy mattresses and more for up to $499 off this weekend only

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Winter nights can get pretty cold, so it helps to have ... Read more »

Shop dreamy deals on Purple mattresses right now and get free sheets and a pillow

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Get a good night’s rest this year by replacing your old ... Read more »

National Startup Day: What CEOs of Jio Haptik, Pickrr and Trell have to say

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that January 16 will be celebrated as ‘National Startup Day’. During his interaction with startups from different sectors, PM said that startups are going ... Read more »

Keir Starmer says ousting Boris Johnson would be ‘in the national interest'

Keir Starmer delivers his speech at the Fabian Society’s New Year Conference (EPA) Ousting Boris Johnson as Tory leader and prime minister would be “in the national interest”, Keir Starmer ... Read more »

Ant and Dec point out hilarious contestant look-a-like in first look at tonight's 'Limitless Win'

Ant and Dec spotted a contestant resemblance. (ITV) Ant and Dec spot a hilarious resemblance between one of their Limitless Win contestants and a famous face in a first look ... Read more »

Battlegrounds Mobile India 1.8 update: New Livik map theme, matchmaking process and more

Krafton has started rolling out update version 1.8 for Battlegrounds Mobile India. The update is now live for all BGMI players on Android and iOS devices. Krafton has mentioned that ... Read more »

Intel Raptor Lake CPUs could be good news for gamers

Intel’s next-gen Raptor Lake processors could boost on-board cache considerably compared to Alder Lake, if a new rumor is right. This one was tweeted by hardware leaker OneRaichu, with the ... Read more »

Google's foldable could be relatively cheap, and called the Pixel Notepad

We’ve got more leaks to report around the upcoming (yet unconfirmed) Google Pixel Fold, the first foldable phone from Google: apparently the device is going to be called the Pixel ... Read more »

Here's why your favorite Xbox 360 game isn't backward compatible on Xbox Series X

Microsoft’s backward compatibility program may have come to an end on November 20, 2021, with more than 70 games being added as part of Xbox’s 20th anniversary, but you may ... Read more »

Twitter opens up Space recording to everyone on iOS, Android

(Image Courtesy: Twitter) Twitter has updated Spaces, and now allows everyone on iOS and Android to try out the new recording feature. Previously, the company was testing the feature with ... Read more »

In his own words, China's president outlines a vision of digital economy with 5G connectivity and data at its core

China’s president has outlined his vision of a digital economy with 5G connectivity as its backbone and nationwide data management at its core, as he channelled the forces of technology ... Read more »

Android 13 release date rumors, supported phones and what we want to see

After the release of Android 12 in 2021, followed by the subsequent releases of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, we’re already wondering what the next version of Android ... Read more »

Charles Spencer bears striking resemblance to Prince Harry in picture inside vast library

Charles Spencer previously revealed the library inside Althorp House is his favourite part of the home, but we didn't realise it had a very sentimental corner – until now. SEE: ... Read more »

To live on the Moon, we need to extract its oxygen

Alongside advances in space exploration, we’ve recently seen much time and money invested into technologies that could allow effective . And at the forefront of these efforts has been a ... Read more »

PUBG maker Krafton sues Apple, Google and Garena

(Image Courtesy: Krafton) PUBG developer Krafton has sued Apple, Google and Garena, the creators of the lucrative Free Fire and Free Fire Max games, for alleged copyright violations. Krafton has ... Read more »

Dying Light 2 will get ‘at least' 5 years of post-launch content

Dying Light 2’s February release date is fast approaching so developer, Techland, has confirmed some of its post-launch plans. In a tweet posted by the official Dying Light 2 account, ... Read more »

Are Leica cameras worth their price tags?

Leica hit the headlines this week with the launch of its new Leica M11, a camera that’s quite possibly its best rangefinder yet – and also one of its most ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic