Meta takes loss in Giphy sale after UK deal veto

(Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

Facebook owner Meta has sold animated graphics firm Giphy at a significant loss after the UK competition regulator ordered it to divest the startup over competition concerns.

Stock photography giant Shutterstock on Tuesday said it paid $53 million in cash for Giphy in a deal that came months after the divestment order by Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Meta’s purchase of Giphy in May 2020 was announced for $315 million.

Giphy is a platform and search engine for “stickers” and other products using the graphics interchange format, or GIFs.

Since the UK left the European Union in 2020, the CMA has proven to be one of the toughest antitrust regulators of big tech companies.

The CMA last month blocked Microsoft’s $69-billion takeover bid for US video game giant Activision Blizzard over concerns it could kill competition in the fast-growing cloud gaming market.

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