Facebook owner Meta Platforms has agreed to sell Giphy to Shutterstock for $53m (£42m), having bought the animated graphics provider for a reported $400m just three years ago.
The deal was announced eight months later Yuan agree to abide by UK competition watchdog ruling Selling the business on the grounds that the alliance could harm social media users and UK advertisers.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the deal could allow the company to restrict access to so-called GIFs on other social media platforms, “making those sites, such as Twitter or Snapchat, less attractive and competitive for users”.
Meta acquired Giphy — a site for making, sharing and storing GIFs — to integrate with Instagram.
The CMA’s action marks the first time British regulators have forced a US tech giant to sell a company it has acquired.
It recently made global headlines with its decision to block a transaction involving more money.
Microsoft’s £55bn takeover of games maker Activision Blizzard blocked on grounds it would Killing Competition in the Cloud Gaming Market.
Meta has previously been fined £50m by regulators for refusing to comply with its investigation.
Shutterstock expects to complete the acquisition within weeks, but the planned acquisition still needs approval from regulators, including the CMA.
“This is an exciting next step in Shutterstock’s journey as an end-to-end creative platform,” said CEO Paul Hennessy.
The company said it hopes to grow Giphy’s revenue starting in 2024.