Bookmarked Meta’s failed Giphy deal could end Big Tech’s spending spree (by Ars Technica)
This is indeed a very interesting decision by the UK competition and markets authority. I recognise what Ars Technica writes. It’s not just a relevant decision in its own right, it’s also part of an emergent pattern. A pattern various components of which are zeroing in on large silo’d market players. In the EU the Digital Markets Act was approved in recent weeks by both the council of member state ministers and the European Parliament, with the negotation of a final shared text to be finished by next spring. The EU ministers also agreed the Digital Services Act between the member states (the EP still needs to vote on it in committee). The DMA and DSA make requirements w.r.t. interoperability, service neutrality and portability, democratic control and disinformation. On top of the ongoing competition complaints and data protection complaints this will lead to new investigations of FB et al, if not to immediate changes in functionality and accessibility of their platforms. And then there’s also the incoming AI Regulation which classifies manipulation of people’s opinion and sentiment as high risk and a to a certain extent prohibited application. This has meaning for algorithmic timelines and profile based sharing of material in those timelines. All of these, the competition issues, GDPR issues, DMA and DSA issues, and AI risk mitigation will hit FB and other big platforms simultaneously in the near future. They’re interconnected and reinforce each other. That awareness is already shining through in decisions made by competent authorities and judges here and now. Not just within the EU, but also outside it as the European GDPR, DMA, DSA and AI acts are also deliberate export vehicles for the norms written down within them.
….the strange position taken by Britain’s competition watchdog in choosing to block Meta’s takeover of GIF repository Giphy. Meta, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled, must now sell all the GIFs—just 19 months after it reportedly paid $400 million for them. It’s a bold move—and a global first. ……regulators everywhere will now be on high alert for what the legal world calls “killer acquisitions”—where an established company buys an innovative startup in an attempt to squash the competition it could pose in the future.
Morgan Meaker, wired.com / Ars Technica