Benjamin Sirota to Quartz: UK’s Blocking of Facebook-Giphy Deal Signals Global Antitrust Regulators’ Low Thresholds

December 7, 2021

Publication: Quartz

The UK antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), forced Facebook parent company Meta to unwind the acquisition of GIF database company Giphy. This decision demonstrates the willingness of global antitrust regulators to scrutinize even deals between companies based an ocean away, Benjamin Sirota, a former U.S. federal antitrust prosecutor, told Quartz.

Mr. Sirota explained that with this decision, the CMA has shown it has a “low threshold for investigating and ultimately trying to block deals that have some sliver of a connection to the UK.” He also pointed to a previous example of the UK regulator intervening where the U.S. could not: in 2020, when the U.S. Department of Justice failed to block the merger of two U.S. software companies, Sabre and Farelogix, the CMA blocked it just two days later. “You have this two parallel tracks for a deal that was really a U.S. deal,” Mr. Sirota said.

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