Big Tech braces for breakups as UK opens new era of enforcement
By ordering Facebook to part with Giphy, a GIF creation platform it acquired in 2020, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority broke a global taboo and ushered in a brave new world of tech enforcement.
The move has taken center stage at a gathering of competition authorities from G7 countries, and is likely to cheer prominent proponents of breaking up Big Tech, like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. antitrust chief Lina Khan — while giving pause to skeptics like the EU’s digital czar, Margrethe Vestager.
If the CMA is successful, other controversial mergers may yet come up for review. These include Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. The deals, which helped the company build its social media empire, are at the center of a legal battle between the company and the U.S. FTC, which wants a court to order the sale of the two businesses.