An appeals tribunal in the United Kingdom has upheld a previous ruling ordering Meta to unwind its acquisition of Giphy, in a judgement on Tuesday.
Giphy has become the premier online database and search engine for those requiring smart retorts and the very latest, on-trend social media put-downs, all delivered via short looping videos in place of words.
It seems that in the eyes of the CMA, acquiring the company would involve Meta grabbing a little too much of the social media fun for themselves.
According to Financial Times, the judgement comes more than six month after the initial ruling by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and over two years after Meta first announced its intention to acquire the company.
The ruling was not a complete defeat for Meta as although the appeals tribunal found in favour of the CMA in five of the six claims, it did rule that the CMA had failed to appropriately inform Meta of Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat for almost a year after it became aware of the ruling, as a result undermining the company’s defense.
The tribunal will decide how it’ll remediate this error in the coming weeks in a consultation with Meta and the CMA.
Gif me a break
Meta spokesperson Christopher Sgro commented, “Today’s ruling found that the CMA’s approach to its investigation was difficult to defend and undermines the entirety of the decision. We look forward to understanding how these serious process flaws will be addressed. We firmly believe our investment would enhance GIPHY’s product for the millions of people, businesses, and partners who use it.”
The judgement however, still paves a tough road ahead for the proposed acquisition. The tribunal broadly upheld the reasoning presented in the decision and is unlikely to overturn it wholesale, leaving Meta with a tough task of unwinding the deal.