Facebook must resell all its GIFs for a good cause

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During its existence, Meta (formerly Facebook) has made many acquisitions to beef up its products and services. Among the most important acquisitions are those of Instagram, WhatsApp, and the virtual reality platform Oculus. All of these takeovers received the green light from the authorities in the various countries and today the companies taken over by Meta are fully integrated into the group.

In 2020, Mark Zuckerberg’s company formalizes yet another takeover, that of Giphy. As a reminder, Giphy is a platform through which users can search and then share GIF images on social networks. If you have ever used these animated images to tease your friends, it is possible that you have already used this platform (which is sometimes integrated directly into the keyboard of smartphones).

Meta must resell the Giphy platform

But perhaps that was too much redemption. Indeed, the British competition authority, or CMA, opposed the operation. And after having exhausted all possible remedies to save this acquisition, and keep Giphy’s GIFs under its control, Meta must now resolve to sell the company.

In a statement released this week, the CMA orders Meta to resell the GIF platform. The latter believes that this takeover would limit the choice of the British with regard to social networks, and would reduce innovation in the field of advertising.

The UK competition authority believes that if Meta controls Giphy, it could limit other platforms’ access to GIFs from this service, which would make the group even more powerful. In addition, the CMA thinks that Meta could modify the conditions of use of Giphy, to oblige other social networks, like Twitter, Snapchat or TikTok, to provide more data on British Internet users to the company of Mark Zuckerberg.

Finally, with regard to advertising, the CMA recalls that Giphy had developed an advertising platform. But this platform was closed during the acquisition process.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company accepts CMA ruling

“The CMA concluded that the only way to avoid the significant impact the agreement would have on competition is to sell Giphy in its entirety to an approved buyer”can we read in a press release from the British authority.

For Meta, this is no longer the time for appeals. In a press release relayed by Reuters, the company expresses its regret over this decision by the CMA. But she accepts this one. “We will work closely with the CMA on the sale of Giphy”, says the company. At a time when digital giants are being watched closely, their acquisitions are going less and less well.

In the USA, another acquisition is blocked by the FTC

Even in the United States, Meta is considered too powerful. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is currently engaged in a legal battle with the FTC, the trade regulator, which opposed the proposed takeover of the company Within.

Always deep into the metaverse, Meta wishes to acquire this company, which has developed an application allowing physical exercises with virtual reality helmets. But in July, the FTC filed a lawsuit (which has since been amended) in an attempt to block the proposed takeover.

“Instead of competing on merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top”said John Newman, deputy director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau, in July. “Meta already has a best-selling virtual reality fitness app, and it had the capabilities to rival Within’s popular Supernatural app even more closely. But Meta chose to buy a position on the market instead of earning it on the bottom.”

A few days ago, we learned that Meta retaliated by asking the US courts to reject the FTC’s attempt to block the acquisition. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg’s company believes that there is “dynamic competition” in the field of fitness and in virtual reality. This also ensures that the acquisition of Within will benefit both developers and users.

“For these reasons, the complaint must be dismissed”Meta also said in a press release relayed by Axios.

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