Stock media provider Shutterstock is set to acquire the GIF library and search engine Giphy from Meta in a deal worth $53 million.
The deal has been struck to acquire the world’s largest collection of GIFS and sticks shared using digital conversations, after the UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority ruled that being bought by Meta breached competition law and that it must divest in the platform.
Giphy claims to have 1.7 billion daily users working alongside platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Microsoft, TikTok, Samsung, Twitter, Slack and Discord.
The ruling followed Meta’s announcement in 2020 that it had reached a deal worth around $315 million to acquire the GIF-making platform, which came under scrutiny for faced claims of being anti-competitive to the U.K. market.
The finding, upheld by The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), ruled that the takeover could limit other social media platforms from accessing GIFs, which might limit their appeal to users. It also found that the acquisition of Giphy removed it as a potential display advertising challenger to Meta in the U.K. and might prevent businesses from benefiting from its innovation.
Meta lost the tribunal on the ruling last October, forcing it to find a new buyer for the platform.
“This is an exciting next step in Shutterstock’s journey as an end-to-end creative platform,” remarked Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy. “Shutterstock is in the business of helping people and brands tell their stories. Through the Giphy acquisition, we are extending our audience touch points beyond primarily professional marketing and advertising use cases and expanding into casual conversations.”
Hennessy continued: “Giphy enables everyday users to express themselves in memorable ways with GIF and sticker content while also enabling brands to be a part of these casual conversations. We plan to leverage Shutterstock’s unique capabilities in content and metadata monetization, generative AI, studio production and creative automation to enable the commercialization of our GIF library as we roll this offering out to customers.”