British Censor Orders Facebook-owned Meta to Sell GIPHY

Meta will be forced to sell GIPHY after British regulators block the takeover due to fears it will hurt market competition

Meta, which owns the giant Facebook, has been told by Britain’s competition watchdog that it should sell its GIF-sharing platform, GIPHY, as the CMA said the deal could hurt social media users and advertisers in the UK, while Meta said it did not agree with the decision and would appeal.

The watchdog concluded that Meta’s acquisition of GIPHY would weaken competition among social media platforms, and added that the deal had already eliminated Giphy as one of the most important competitors in the visual advertising market.

According to some reports, Facebook will be able to increase its dominance in the market associated with social media platforms by eliminating or limiting the platforms’ access to GIFs powered by them, which in turn will drive more traffic to Facebook-owned sites – such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook – which already account for 73% of the time users spend on social networking sites in the UK.

META may also change the terms of access to GIFs, for example, it may require platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat to send more user data in exchange for allowing them to access GIFs.

In May last year, before the deal was announced, Givi launched its own advertising services, and was planning to expand to countries outside the United States, including the United Kingdom, but when the merger deal with Facebook was concluded, the latter stopped the GIPHY advertising services project, and the CMA said this was cause for concern, especially since Facebook controls half of Britain’s £7 billion ($9.4 billion) visual advertising market.

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