UK competition watchdog could require Facebook to sell Giphy

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Aug 12 - Britain's competition watchdog said on Thursday it could require Facebook Inc to sell Giphy after its investigation found that the deal between the two companies would harm competition in display advertising.

Giphy's takeover could see Facebook removing GIFs from competing platforms or requiring more user data to access them. It also removes a potential challenger from Facebook, said Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent inquiry for the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

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