Facebook may have to sell Giphy on Britain's competition concerns

FFILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo/File Photo

(Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog said on Thursday it could require Facebook Inc to sell GIF website Giphy after its investigation found that the deal between the two companies would harm competition in display advertising.

“Giphy’s takeover could see Facebook withdrawing GIFs from competing platforms or requiring more user data in order to access them. It also removes a potential challenger to Facebook,” said Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent investigation for UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA is now inviting comments from interested parties by Sept. 2 for its provisional findings. The watchdog in April referred the deal to an in-depth probe after Facebook said it would not be offering any concessions to address concerns.

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