There’s been another twist in the saga of Meta’s bid to buy GIF-sharing service Giphy, Bloomberg reports. Judges of the Competition Appeal Tribunal have told Britain’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to reconsider its previous ruling ordering Meta to sell Giphy. “We have agreed to reconsider our decision in light of this finding,” the CMA told Bloomberg in a statement. He hopes the trial will not take more than three months.
The ruling comes a month after the same tribunal largely sided with the regulator after Meta appealed the order to dissolve the deal and sell Giphy. The tribunal ruled in favor of the CMA on five of the six claims, but, crucially, on the remaining claim, it ruled that the CMA had not properly informed Meta about Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat, thus leading the company’s defense was undermined. To correct the error, the CMA will reconsider its ruling and Meta will be given an opportunity to comment on the CMA’s final report.
Meta (then known as Facebook) announced its intention to buy Giphy more than two years ago, in May 2020. But the deal soon caught the attention of the UK competition regulator, who worried that Meta owned, among other things, the popular poison-sharing service could restrict other platforms’ access to its content. As a result, last November, the CMA officially ordered Meta to rescind the deal and give Giphy. to sell
A representative from Meta declined to comment on: The edge on the last statement. But responding to the tribunal’s findings last month, Meta spokesperson Christopher Sgro reiterated, “We firmly believe that our investment would improve Giphy’s product for the millions of people, companies and partners who use it.”