Meta, the new parent company of Facebook and Instagram, bought out a website for making and sharing animated images, or GIFs called Giphy last May. Just Facebook back then paid $400 million for Giphy. But now the acquisition may be scuttled because of fears by British regulator.
Founded in 2013 by Alex Chung and Jace Cooke, Giphy is the first and largest GIF search engine where thousands of artists, brands, and pop culture moments make today’s expression, entertainment, and info a little more moving. GIPHY allows users to not only search for their favorite GIFs but post, embed, share, create their own, and more.
At the time of the acquisition, Facebook executive Vishal Shah wrote in a blog post, “By bringing Instagram and GIPHY together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct. A lot of people in our community already know and love GIPHY. In fact, 50% of GIPHY’s traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps, half of that from Instagram alone.”
But now the Financial Times has reported that the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority is expected to reverse the deal over antitrust concerns.
Just last month the Authority fined Meta 50.5 million GBP ($67.35 million) for what it said was the company’s violating lawful orders given in regards to its investigation into the sale.
— GIPHY Sports (@GIPHYSports) November 26, 2021
No final decision about the merger has yet been made. It will be interesting to see what the ramifications of a decision to block Meta’s acquisition of Giphy would be should the British authorities rule against Facebook.