Britain's competition regulator said on Nov 30 it has directed Facebook owner Meta Platforms to sell animated images platform Giphy after finding that the deal could harm social media users and UK advertisers.
The Competition and Markers Authority (CMA) said the decision was in line with provisional findings that Facebook's acquisition of Giphy would reduce competition between social media platforms and in the display advertising market.
"The tie-up between Facebook and Giphy has already removed a potential challenger in the display advertising market ... By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising," said Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent investigation for the CMA.
Facebook, now rebranded Meta Platforms as the parent company of the eponymous social media network, said it disagreed with the decision.
"We are reviewing the decision and considering all options, including appeal," a spokesperson for Meta said.
The CMA in October fined the company about US$70 million for breaching an order that was imposed during its investigation into the deal, having hinted in August that it may need Facebook to sell Giphy.