Facebook may have to sell Giphy, UK regulators say

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Facebook may have to sell Giphy, UK regulators say

- British may require Facebook to sell the GIF blog Giphy after the country's competition regulator said on Thursday its investigation found the deal between the two firms would harm competition in the display advertising market.

In May 2012, Facebook, the world's largest social media company, bought Giphy, a website for making and sharing animated images, or GIFs, in May to integrate with Instagram photo sharing app Instagram. The deal was valued by Axios at $400 million.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority conducted a probe into the deal in January at a time when the social media network was under global regulatory scrutiny over antitrust concerns. The CMA referred the deal to an in-depth investigation in April.

Giphy's takeover could see Facebook withdrawing GIFs from competing platforms or requiring more user data to access them. It also removes a potential challenger to Facebook, said Stuart McIntosh from CMA, chair of the independent investigation for the CMA.

The CMA said that it has engaged with other agencies reviewing the deal to help with the CMA's investigation and is now inviting comments from interested parties by Sept. 2 for its provisional findings.