Meta's Forced Sale of Giphy Is Stopped by UK Court

Following Meta's blocked acquisition of the gif database, a UK judge rejected a competition watchdog's demand that the company sell Giphy.

Nina Raemont Writer
A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Nina started at CNET writing breaking news stories before shifting to covering Security Security and other government benefit programs. In her spare time, she's in her kitchen, trying a new baking recipe.
Nina Raemont
Phone with Giphy logo in front of a Meta background

The Giphy purchase will return to the CMA for further review. 

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A UK judge rejected a demand by the Competition and Markets Authority that Meta sell Giphy, Bloomberg reported Monday. The ruling follows the CMA blocking the Facebook parent company's acquisition of the gif database last year, due to concerns that it would harm social media users and advertisers.

The Giphy purchase will now return to the CMA for further review of its market competition implications. 

In June, the Competition Appeal Tribunal largely backed the CMA's decision to force Meta to sell Giphy, but ruled that the regulator failed to properly inform Meta of Snapchat's acquisition of Gfycat -- withholding information that could have helped the company's defense. A Meta spokesperson focused on the upheld claim in its response at the time.

"[The] ruling found that the CMA's approach to its investigation was 'difficult to defend' and 'undermines the entirety of the Decision," they wrote. "We look forward to understanding how these serious process flaws will be addressed. We firmly believe our investment would enhance GIPHY's product for the millions of people, businesses, and partners who use it."

Meta bought Giphy for $400 million in May 2020, and planned to integrate it into its Instagram team. The company declined to comment on Monday's ruling.