Facebook Butts Heads With The UK's Competition Authority Over Its Concerning Acquisition Of Yet Another Platform

Facebook has publicly called out the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the latter's statement that it might annul the former's takeover of another company.

That's quite a lot of insinuations for one sentence, so let's break them down a bit. To provide some background, Facebook's been in a spot or two of legal trouble in almost every country that the platform's established in. There have been Congressional hearings in the USA over the company's possible manipulation of election demographics. The Australian government has feuded with the company over its unfair treatment of journalists, sharing their stories without an ounce of revenue returned. The EU has often taken issue with Facebook's user privacy violations, even recently suing WhatsApp over such action. And across almost every legal platform that Facebook has faced, one accusation has been constantly brought up. That Facebook is highly anti-competitive, and is rapidly attempting to establish a monopoly.

That is the very point that the CMA brought up when stating that its might be forced to reverse Facebook's takeover of Giphy. Giphy, for those unaware, is a platform that's rather well-known for acting as a library of GIFs that anyone can freely access. More importantly, many other online platforms rely on Giphy to allow their users to post GIFs. The CMA argues that Facebook's takeover of Giphy will mean that it can easily restrict GIFs and the like for competitors, driving their features to near zero usability. Such actions will only further strengthen Facebook's hold on the social media marketplace, a power which is "already significant".

Facebook's response to the allegations has been a very cookie cutter state of denial. It called out the CMA's allegations as grossly misguided, unreasonable, and disproportionate. It also states that the CMA fell short on evidence needed to prove that Facebook's actions were in any shape or form anti-competition. Representatives also stated that Giphy had no business of interest to conduct in the UK, implying that the CMA's main motivation behind such allegations is to diversify their own country's social media exploits.

The CMA's final say on the matter will be published as a report on October. CMA spokespeople still hold to their opinion that Facebook's partnership with Giphy will actively hurt the marketplace as a whole, and must therefore be stopped. Until the report reveals the CMA's final stance on the matter, legal proceedings cannot proceed. Therefore, all we can do now is watch.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
H/T: Bloomberg.

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