Meta Appealing UK Watchdog’s Order to Sell Its GIF Library – Reports

© AP Photo / Tony AvelarFacebook employees take a photo with the company's new name and logo outside its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, after the company announced that it is changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc.
Facebook employees take a photo with the company's new name and logo outside its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, after the company announced that it is changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Facebook parent company Meta is appealing the UK competition watchdog's decision that orders a sale of Giphy, a GIF database firm acquired by the social media giant in 2020 in a $315 million deal, Politico reported on Thursday.
The appeal hearing at the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal will most likely take place in the spring of 2022, according to a person familiar with the matter cited in the report.
"We are appealing the CMA’s [Competition and Markets Authority] GIPHY decision and will seek a stay of the CMA’s order to divest," Christopher Sgro, a Meta company spokesperson, was quoted by the news outlet as saying. "The decision to block the deal is wrong on the law and the facts, and the evidence does not support the CMA's conclusions or remedy."
The CMA decision marks the first time a Big Tech company is ordered by an antitrust watchdog to effectively break up, the report said.
The British regulator is concerned about the possibility of Meta being able to restrict access to Giphy GIF libraries for its main competitors in the social media realm, including Twitter and TikTok, according to the report.
The Giphy deal remains under scrutiny in the Federal Trade Commission in the US as well. The commission is seeking to invalidate the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp by Meta, the report said.
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