The UK regulator is reviewing Meta’s order to sell Giphy

According to rumours, there has been another twist in the drama of Meta’s effort to acquire GIF-sharing service Giphy. The Competition Appeal Tribunal has ordered the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom to rethink its prior judgement ordering Meta to sell Giphy. “In light of this discovery, we have decided to rethink our decision,” the CMA stated in a statement. It anticipates that the procedure will take no more than three months.

The decision comes a month after the same panel ruled in favour of the regulator after Meta appealed its order to cancel the merger and sell Giphy. The tribunal concluded in favour of the CMA on five of the six accusations, but on the sixth, the tribunal ruled that the CMA had failed to properly notify Meta of Snapchat’s acquisition of Gfycat, undercutting the company’s case. To correct the error, the CMA will reexamine its ruling, and Meta will be able to comment on the CMA’s final report.

Meta (formerly known as Facebook) declared its desire to acquire Giphy in May 2020 more than two years ago. However, the transaction swiftly drew the notice of the UK’s competition authorities, who was concerned that Meta’s ownership of the popular gif-sharing service could hinder other platforms’ access to its material, among other things. As a result, the CMA officially ordered Meta to unwind the arrangement and sell Giphy in November of last year.