Britain’s competition regulator has told Facebook owner Meta Mark Zuckerberg to sell GIF library platform Giphy. The reason is that the acquisition could distort the digital advertising market and harm social media users.

Facebook bought Giphy, a service for making and sharing animated GIFs, reportedly for $400 million in May 2020. The idea was to integrate it with its photo-sharing app, Instagram. Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent investigation on Facebook-Giphy for the CMA (The Competition and Markets Authority) said:

“The tie-up between Facebook and Giphy has already removed a potential challenger in the display advertising market. By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising.”

Facebook, recently rebranded as Meta, said it may appeal the CMA’s decision.

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