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28 Jan 2021 | 12:12

UK competition watchdog opens probe into Facebook Giphy deal

(Sharecast News) - UK's competition watchdog on Thursday launched its initial investigation into Facebook acquisition of GIF website Giphy. Facebook bought Giphy in May 2020 to integrate it with photo-sharing app, Instagram.

According to Reuters, the Competition and Markets Authority had the acquisition halted temporarily over concerns of anticompetitive practices.

There were worries that Giphy could stop offering its services to other platforms such as Twitter or Snapchat once the integration was complete. The company denied these claims.

The CMA said it has until March 25 to decide whether it should make a reference for an in-depth investigation.

"We will continue to fully cooperate with the CMA's investigation. This merger is procompetitive and in the interests of everyone in the UK who uses GIPHY and our services," a Facebook spokesperson said on Thursday.

The probe comes on the back of general regulatory scrutiny into the social media platform over antitrust concerns.
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