What you need to know:
- The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) found inconsistencies in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation.
- The CMA failed to inform Meta of Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat.
- The CAT hopes to complete its review by October.
Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the UK court forcing Meta to sell Giphy would have to re-review the case following some inconsistencies with the investigation.
In 2020, Meta finalized its deal to purchase Giphy, a gif search engine. However, Meta has been going back and forth with the UK courts since then; at one moment, Giphy was in the social media giant’s hands, only for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to offer Meta to sell Giphy due to competition concerns. At the time of this decision, Meta was given two options: to file an appeal or sell Giphy.
Meta filed an appeal, and through the process, it was discovered some things were not properly taken into account.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) was largely in favor of the CMA. However, it was ruled by the CAT the CMA did not properly inform the Meta of Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat, undermining its argument. The CMA now must reconsider its decision but also allow Meta to comment on the complete and unredacted version of its report.
As pointed out by Bloomberg, this ordeal has marked the first time any regulating entity has made significant headway in forcing a Big Tech company out of a completed acquisition.
When Divinemercy reached out to Meta for comments, a spokesperson echoed their previous statement from June, when the CAT announced the ruling.
“Today’s ruling found that the CMA’s approach to its investigation was ‘difficult to defend’ and ‘undermines the entirety of the Decision.’ 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,” they said.
The CMA is currently re-reviewing this case and plans to have this review completed by October.