UK refers Facebook acquisition of Giphy for in-depth probe

Britain on Thursday referred Facebook Inc's acquisition of GIF website Giphy for an in-depth probe after the U.S. social media giant told the country's competition watchdog it would not be offering any undertakings to address its concerns. The regulator last week gave Facebook and Giphy five working days to offer proposals to address its concerns over their merger deal, which could affect digital advertising and the supply of animated images.

Reuters | London | Updated: 01-04-2021 17:57 IST | Created: 01-04-2021 17:49 IST
UK refers Facebook acquisition of Giphy for in-depth probe
Representative image Image Credit: Pixabay

Britain on Thursday referred Facebook Inc's acquisition of GIF website Giphy for an in-depth probe after the U.S. social media giant told the country's competition watchdog it would not be offering any undertakings to address its concerns.

The regulator last week gave Facebook and Giphy five working days to offer proposals to address its concerns over their merger deal, which could affect digital advertising and the supply of animated images. The two companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The world's largest social media company bought Giphy, a website for making and sharing animated images, or GIFs, in May last year to integrate it with its rapidly growing photo-sharing app, Instagram. However, a source told Reuters in June that Facebook was pausing the integration. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began an initial investigation in January at a time when the social media network was under global regulatory scrutiny over antitrust concerns.

After the initial investigation, the CMA said that if the two companies remain merged, Giphy could have less incentive to expand its digital advertising, raising concerns about Facebook's existing market power in display advertising. Facebook had said that Giphy's integrations with other social platforms like Twitter Snapchat and ByteDance's TikTok would not change.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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