Three years ago Meta —which then was still called Facebook— bought Giphy, the well-known search engine for animated GIFs. To do so, he spent 400 million dollars, and had the goal of integrating this type of content on platforms like Instagram. The bet ended up going bad.
Shutterstock. The company, one of the most important for its base of stock images, announces today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Giphy. The transaction “consists of $53 million” in cash to be paid upon closing of the deal.
Meta loses a fortune. Selling at that price means that Meta (Facebook) has recovered only 13% of the money it originally invested. On Shutterstock they say they expect the deal to close next month. Included in the agreement is the ability for Meta to be able to access Giphy’s content on its services.
why do they sell. As they explain in TechCrunch, seven months ago the UK antitrust agency issued the order to Meta to sell Giphy because that original acquisition reduced competition in the market. The process had been going on even before, but the appeals managed to delay Meta trying to find a buyer for Giphy.
Conditions. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom has therefore managed to undo that initial operation: after the previous process, in January 2023 it gave Meta a specific period of time to solve the problem, which according to TechCrunch was six months. The company needed to hurry and also had to meet another requirement: it could not sell Giphy for parts, it had to do it to a company that would keep Giphy running as it is now.
The UK doesn’t mess around. The CMA has not only made Meta come Giphy: it also restricted Microsoft’s purchase agreement of Activision a few weeks ago. The European Union, yes, blessed this proposal —so has China—, and now it remains to be seen if this mega-acquisition is completed.
Many users and many GIFs. Giphy, founded in 2013, then had more than 700 million active users and more than 10 billion GIFs sent daily. The company’s data does not seem to have changed since then: they maintain the same figures on their official website.
A (seemingly) secure future. According to Shutterstock, there are more than 1.3 billion searches a day on Giphy, and there are more than 15 billion impressions of those GIFs across all types of platforms and media. The potential and popularity of Giphy therefore seems remarkable, and it will be interesting to see its evolution in the coming months.
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