Facebook blasts UK competition watchdog for Giphy ruling

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Facebook has fired off a furious response to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) questioning whether it had the authority to force it to divest recent acquisition Giphy.


The social media group bought Giphy, which supplies images to Snapchat and Twitter, last year for US$400mln (GBP290mln) but in August the UK watchdog “provisionally found” that the deal might negatively impact competition between social media platforms and should be unwound.


Facebook may have to sell gif creator Giphy after UK investigation


The CMA published Facebook’s response on its website today.


“The inability of the CMA to issue any order against Giphy raises serious questions as to the enforceability of any divestment order and whether any such order could be effective,” said the US group.


Facebook added that in its view the CMA’s provisional findings had “fundamental errors,” while it provided no alternative remedies that would have been “far less intrusive and equally effective” to allow the deal to proceed.


“Facebook is unaware of any prior investigation in which the CMA has taken the extraordinary step of entirely “reconstituting” the target business, with employees and assets that did not necessarily transfer with the acquired business, prior to selling it to an approved purchaser,” said the letter dated 25 August 2021.

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