UK watchdog launches probe into Facebook's Giphy acquisition

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UK watchdog launches probe into Facebook's Giphy acquisition
London, June 12 (IANS) The UK antitrust watchdog on Friday announced it has launched an investigation into Facebooks $400 million acquisition of GIF-sharing service Giphy that would be part of its Instagram team.
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The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it is investigating the completed acquisition by Facebook of Giphy.

"The CMA has decided to investigate this transaction and is inviting comments and has made an initial enforcement order," it said in a statement. The invitation to comment closes on July 3.

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Facebook used Giphy's application programming interfaces (APIs) for years, not just in Instagram but in the main Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the investigation is an attempt whether the deal would "result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services".

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Facebook was yet to react to the decision.

Vishal Shah, VP of Product Facebook, said in a statement last month that by bringing Instagram and Giphy together, "we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct".

"Both our services are big supporters of the creator and artist community, and that will continue".

Giphy will continue to operate its library (including its global content collection), and the company looking forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners.

Giphy is a searchable library of animated GIFS that have integrated with a variety of apps, such as Slack as well as Twitter.

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Facebook first attempted to acquire it in 2015, two years after it was founded.

"People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to Giphy's APIs; and Giphy's creative community will still be able to create great content," said Shah.

--IANS

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