Daily Mail

Facebook told to sell Giphy


FACEBOOK’S parent company Meta has been directed to sell GIF-sharing platform Giphy by a UK watchdog.

The Competitio­n and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was ‘protecting millions of social media users and promoting competitio­n and innovation in digital advertisin­g’. Its independen­t panel reviewing the merger said it increased Meta’s significan­t market power by denying or limiting access to Giphy GIFs, driving more traffic to Meta apps and changing the terms of access by requiring some rivals to provide more user data to access Giphy.

The watchdog said the deal also removed Giphy as a challenger in the display advertisin­g market after it found Giphy had the potential to compete with Facebook’s ad business. The CMA said Facebook’s terminatio­n of Giphy’s advertisin­g services, was ‘particular­ly concerning’ given Facebook has nearly half the £7bn UK display advertisin­g market.

Stuart McIntosh, chairman of the independen­t panel, said of a merger: ‘Without action, it will also allow Facebook to increase its significan­t market power in social media even further.’

Competitio­n lawyer Peter Broadhurst said the decision was ‘hugely important’. ‘This is the first time the CMA has ever blocked a major digital tech deal and indicates the direction of travel for UK regulators’ oversight of similar deals,’ he said.

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