Meta Is Ordered by a U.K. Regulator to Sell Giphy, its GIF Search Engine

Meta has been subject to many antitrust lawsuits over the past few years.

Giphy logo seen displayed on a smartphone with Meta logos in the background
GIFs for all
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Meta must sell Giphy, a search engine for GIFs, the U.K. competition regulator ordered Oct. 18. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found Meta’s ownership of the platform could mean less access to GIFs, or soundless looping videos, for other social media platforms, leading to unfair competition.

This order is the latest of many antitrust lawsuits against Meta in recent years. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission  is attempting to block the company’s acquisition of Within Unlimited, a virtual reality fitness app. In 2020, the FTC sued Meta for monopolization due to its ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp, a lawsuit which is still ongoing. The CMA is also currently investigating Meta for its data usage.

Meta purchased Giphy in 2020 for $315 million, and the CMA announced it must sell the company in Nov. 2021. After an appeal from Meta, an independent CMA panel reviewed additional evidence and stood by its decision. Meta will not appeal, and agreed to sell the site, it told Reuters. Meta’s sites currently dominate the attention of U.K. citizens, with 73 percent of time on social media spent on the company’s platforms.

Meta Is Ordered by a U.K. Regulator to Sell Giphy, its GIF Search Engine