CMA forces Facebook to sell Giphy
The CMA requires Facebook (which has recently renamed itself ‘Meta’) to sell Giphy, after finding that the deal could harm social media users and UK advertisers
In line with findings issued in August, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today concluded that Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy would reduce competition between social media platforms and that the deal has already removed Giphy as a potential challenger in the display advertising market.
The independent CMA panel reviewing the merger has concluded that Facebook would be able to increase its already significant market power in relation to other social media platforms.
As part of its in-depth investigation, the CMA also looked at how the deal would affect the display advertising market. It found that, before the merger, Giphy had launched innovative advertising services which it was considering expanding to countries outside the US, including the UK. Giphy’s services allowed companies – such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi – to promote their brands through visual images and GIFs.
The CMA found that Giphy’s advertising services had the potential to compete with Facebook’s own display advertising services. They would have also encouraged greater innovation from others in the market, including social media sites and advertisers. Facebook terminated Giphy’s advertising services at the time of the merger, removing an important source of potential competition. The CMA considers this particularly concerning given that Facebook controls nearly half of the £7 billion display advertising market in the UK.