Meta’s acquisition of Giphy remains blocked after UK appeal court ruling

In a judgment on Tuesday, a UK appeals court largely upheld an earlier decision ordering Facebook’s parent company Meta to unwind its acquisition of Giphy, as first reported by the FinancialTimes. The ruling comes more than six months after the original decision by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and more than two years after Meta first announced its intention to acquire the company.

The decision was not a total defeat for Meta, however. While the appeals tribunal ruled in favor of the CMA in five of the six claims, the tribunal ruled that the CMA failed to properly inform Meta of Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat for nearly a year after learning of the decision, thereby undermining the company’s defense. The court will decide how to remedy this error in the coming weeks in consultation with Meta and the AMC.

Still, the judgment lays out a difficult road for the proposed acquisition to follow. The court broadly upheld the reasoning presented in the ruling and is unlikely to overturn it outright, leaving Meta the difficult task of unraveling the deal.

Reached for comment, Meta highlighted the confirmed request and its impact on the larger decision. “Today’s decision found the CMA’s approach to its investigation to be ‘difficult to defend’ and ‘undermines the entire decision,'” Meta spokesman Christopher Sgro said. “We look forward to understanding how these serious process flaws will be resolved. We strongly believe that our investment would improve GIPHY’s product for the millions of people, businesses, and partners who use it.”


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