On 7 February, the Austrian Cartel Court conditionally cleared the merger between Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook) and Giphy Inc.
In July 2021, the AFCA opened a Phase 1 investigation. The AFCA indicated a number of concerns including (i) the elimination of a potential competitor in non-search online advertising (horizontal harm), (ii) the potential foreclosure of GIFs to rival online platforms (vertical harm) and (iii) the potential anti-competitive effects of data collection. The investigation resulted in an in-depth examination by the Cartel Court (Phase 2).
The Cartel Court has now cleared the merger subject to commitments. The remedies proposed by Meta include granting rival platforms access to Giphy's library for 5 years and helping set up an alternative provider of a GIF library within 7 years.
A team from Frontier Economics advised Facebook on the economic aspects of the merger.
Frontier Economics regularly advises clients on competition matters.
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