Sullivan & Cromwell Discusses UK Watchdog’s Order to Unwind Facebook Acquisition

On November 30, 2021, the UK’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), found that the completed acquisition by Facebook, Inc. (now Meta Platforms, Inc.) of GIPHY, Inc. resulted in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) in social media and display advertising, harming social media users and businesses in the UK.

The CMA found that the only effective remedy is a full divestiture of GIPHY to a purchaser approved by the CMA.

The decision highlights that:

  • The CMA’s jurisdiction is far-reaching: The CMA asserted jurisdiction over the transaction even though GIPHY does not generate

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