An Austrian antitrust court has reportedly given conditional approval to Facebook’s acquisition of GIF platform Giphy. This is good for Facebook. Earlier, a British regulator said it should reject the deal.
In 2020, Facebook bought Giphy for $315 million and integrated it with its Instagram unit. Giphy provides GIF production and sharing services. Funny GIFs are very popular in social media and instant messaging apps.
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Earlier, Britain’s antitrust watchdog said Facebook must sell Giphy because the deal would hurt competition in social media platforms and display advertising. Facebook is currently challenging the ruling by the UK antitrust agency.
Facebook said the Austrian ruling was the first time a court had approved the deal. The deal is small and therefore does not require EU-level approval.
“As long as certain conditions are met, the court will not prohibit the merger,” Austria’s court said in a brief statement. The lawsuit was filed by Austria’s Federal Competition Authority.
Those conditions include giving competitors five years’ of access to Giphy’s photo library and helping to build an “alternative GIF library provider” for seven years.
A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said: “We are delighted by the Austrian court’s ruling. The ruling recognizes that Meta and Giphy will work together to optimize Giphy for millions of people, businesses, developers and application programming interface (API) partners. products, giving everyone more choice.”