FACEBOOK has been told it has to sell popular GIF site Giphy.
The service is one of the best-known for sending animated pictures to friends, but UK competition officials were concerned the company had too much control over them.
The CMA watchdog said Facebook owner Meta may be unfairly restricting access to GIFs like TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter.
Since buying Giphy for a reported $400 million in 2020, Facebook has begged bosses not to restrict competition.
But officials have concluded that the only way forward is for Giphy to be “fully sold.”
Meta admitted to being disappointed with the verdict but would accept the decision.
“We are disappointed with the CMA’s decision but accept today’s ruling as the final word on this matter. We will work closely with the CMA on the sale of Giphy,” a spokesman said.
The watchdog warned that Facebook’s ownership of Giphy could push people towards Meta-owned sites, which are already dominant.
They didn’t like that Facebook could require competitors to provide more data from UK users in order to access Giphy GIFs.
And they were also concerned about what this means for digital advertising, of which the tech giant is already a big part.
“This deal would significantly reduce competition in two markets,” said Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent investigation group conducting the referral investigation.
“It has already resulted in the removal of a potential challenger in the UK display advertising market, while giving Meta the opportunity to further expand its significant market power on social media.
“The only way to address this is to sell Giphy.
“This will encourage innovation in digital advertising and also ensure that UK social media users continue to benefit from access to Giphy.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9586519/facebook-ordered-sell-giphy/ Facebook ordered the sale of Giphy over fears it might block TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat from accessing GIFs