Meta Platforms (META.O) won an appeal against Britain’s decision to block its acquisition of Giphy on a single procedural ground.
Meta Platforms (META.O) won an appeal against Britain’s decision to block its acquisition of Giphy on a single procedural ground, but the country’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) agreed with the regulator that the deal could harm competition.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom ordered Meta last year to sell the animated image platform Giphy, which it acquired for a reported $400 million, due to concerns about the loss of a potential competitor in advertising and the potential impact on social media rivals.
The CAT stated on Tuesday that the CMA “failed properly to consult” and “wrongly excised portions from its decision,” adding that the parties should determine how and when the issue of remittal could be resolved.
The other six grounds of appeal were dismissed unanimously.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, welcomed the “resounding endorsement” of the CMA’s approach to reviewing mergers that may harm innovation.
The CMA stated that the impact of Meta winning the appeal on one ground would be determined in due course.
The CAT could overturn the entire decision and remand the case to the CMA for further investigation. According to a source familiar with Meta’s thinking, the CMA could then reach the same conclusions and prohibit the deal, but only after proper consultation on materials previously withheld from Meta.