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Meta’s Giphy Acquisition Remains Blocked After UK Appeals Court Ruling

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In a verdict on Tuesdaya UK appeals court largely upheld an earlier ruling ordering Meta (Facebook’s parent company) to settle the Giphy acquisition, as first reported by the Financial times† The ruling comes more than six months after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) first ruling and more than two years after Meta first announced its intention to acquire the company.

However, the verdict was not a total defeat for Meta. Although the appeals tribunal ruled in favor of the CMA in five of the six claims, the tribunal ruled that nearly a year after learning of the ruling, the CMA had failed to properly notify Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat, and thus defending the company. The court will decide in the coming weeks, in consultation with Meta and the CMA, how this error will be resolved.

Still, the verdict lays out a difficult path for the proposed takeover. The tribunal broadly upheld the reasoning presented in the decision and is unlikely to overturn it on a large scale, leaving Meta with the difficult task of undoing the deal.

Meta, who was asked for comment, emphasized the confirmed claim and its impact on the broader ruling. “Today’s ruling found that the CMA’s approach to its investigation was ‘hard to defend’ and ‘undermines the entire decision,'” said Meta spokesman Christopher Sgro. “We look forward to understanding how these serious process errors will be addressed. We are confident that our investment would enhance GIPHY’s product for the millions of people, companies and partners who use it.”

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