London [UK], November 30 (ANI/Sputnik): The UK Competition and Market Authority (CMA) on Tuesday ordered Facebook to sell off Giphy, on the ground that the acquisition of the animated graphic sharing platform by the US company would increase its already significant market power in detriment of other social media platforms.
"After consulting with interested businesses and organisations - and assessing alternative solutions (known as 'remedies') put forward by Facebook - the CMA has concluded that its competition concerns can only be addressed by Facebook selling Giphy in its entirety to an approved buyer," the competition watchdog said in a statement.
According to the CMA, the merger will deny or limit other platforms' access to Giphy GIFs, driving more traffic to Facebook-owned social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
It will also change the terms of access by, for example, requiring TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat to provide more user data in order to access Giphy's animated graphic, the CMA added.
"By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising," Stuart McIntosh, who chaired the independent inquiry group carrying out the phase 2 investigation, was quoted as saying.
In October, the CMA imposed a 50.5 million pounds ($69.5 million) fine on Facebook for failing to provide enough important information to the competition regulator investigating the social media network's takeover of GIF sharing platform since June 2020.' (ANI/Sputnik)