Austria assents Facebook’s Giphy deal

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An antitrust court in Austria has conditionally approved Facebook’s purchase of animated images platform Giphy.

A UK watchdog had clamoured hard that the deal should be reversed.

Facebook bought Giphy, a website for making and sharing GIFs, a type of animated image used often in social media and instant messaging, for $315 million in 2020 to integrate the operation with its Instagram photo-sharing app.

Facebook is challenging a ruling by Britain’s competition watchdog which said it must sell Giphy because the deal would reduce competition between social media platforms and in display advertising.

“The court did not prohibit the merger provided certain conditions were met,” the court said in a short statement on its ruling on the case brought by the Federal Competition Authority.

Those conditions included granting competitors access to Giphy’s image library for five years and helping set up “an alternative provider of a GIF library” within seven years.

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