Americas

Facebook owner Meta ordered to sell Giphy by UK antitrust regulator

Merger would reduce competition between social media platforms, according to UK Competition and Markets Authority

Ovunc Kutlu   | 30.11.2021
Facebook owner Meta ordered to sell Giphy by UK antitrust regulator

ANKARA

Facebook's owner, Meta, was ordered Tuesday to sell American online database and search engine Giphy after a decision by a UK antitrust regulator.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy, an American online database and search engine, would reduce competition between social media platforms and the deal has already removed Giphy as a potential challenger in the display advertising market.

CMA said Facebook would be able to increase its already significant market power in relation to other social media platforms by denying or limiting other platforms’ access to Giphy GIFs and driving more traffic to Facebook-owned sites, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram that already account for 73% of user time spent on social media in the UK.

Facebook would also be able to change the terms of access by requiring other social media platforms, such as TikTok, Twitter, and Snapchat, to provide more user data to access Giphy GIFs.

The British regulator also stressed that the deal would affect the display advertising market, noting "Giphy’s advertising services had the potential to compete with Facebook’s own display advertising services."

"The CMA considers this particularly concerning given that Facebook controls nearly half of the £7 billion display advertising market in the UK," the statement said.



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