Facebook (META) ordered to sell GIPHY by UK competitive regulator

The United Kingdom's CMA issued its final verdict after Meta attempted to appeal a prior ruling for it to sell off its $400 million acquisition of Giphy.

Image via Meta

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, hit a major snap with United Kingdom authorities earlier this year when it was told to sell off its $400 million acquisition of the Giphy .GIF search engine. It appealed the decision and went back to court, but after the appeal, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued its final verdict on the matter. The order stands for Meta to sell Giphy in its entirety to a “suitable buyer.”

The CMA put out its final verdict on Meta’s ownership of Giphy this week, as reported by CNBC. According to the decision, the CMA upholds its prior consensus that Meta’s owning of Giphy poses a significant risk to lessening of competition in regards to social media content and advertising. With this decision, Meta is expected to follow orders to divest entirely out of Giphy and sell the company and its hardware and services.

Giphy's logo
Meta (then Facebook) acquired Giphy back in 2020 for $400 million. It must now sell the company off completely.
Source: Giphy

For its part, Meta was not thrilled, as shared in a statement provided after the final verdict was delivered.

“[Meta is] disappointed by the CMA’s decision but accept today’s ruling as the final word on the matter,” a Meta spokesperson wrote. “We will work closely with the CMA on divesting GIPHY. We are grateful to the GIPHY team during this uncertain time for their business, and wish them every success. We will continue to evaluate opportunities - including through acquisition - to bring innovation and choice to more people in the UK and around the world.”

Meta had acquired Giphy in 2020 to the tune of $400 million USD. No other company has yet signaled interest to step in for the purchase at this time, so it remains to be seen what comes next and who will pick up the Giphy brand from Meta. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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