Meta’s purchase of Giphy has been thwarted, with UK regulators blocking the deal and forcing Meta to sell it.
Meta, then Facebook, acquired Giphy in 2020 to the tune of $400 million. It was later discovered the two companies had used a legal loophole to avoid regulatory scrutiny, with Giphy paying investors a dividend right before the deal. Doing so lowered its value temporarily, allowing the deal to slide under the radar.
UK regulators have been looking at the deal, and indicated in Augustthey may block it. According to NBC News, regulators have told Meta it must sell Giphy, refusing to back the deal. Regulators are concerned Meta owning Giphy will harm other social media platforms, giving Meta the ability to restrict other platforms’ access to Giphy.
Meta has already said it plans to appeal the decision.