The big merger may fail. The British office warns

The big merger may fail.  The British office warns

Britain warns Adobe’s $20 billion deal to buy Figma will hurt competition.

Adobe’s proposed $20 billion merger with Figma will harm competition in product design software by combining two of the industry’s major companies, Britain’s antitrust watchdog said in its latest objection to the deal. The takeover in its current form would also threaten competition in image editing and illustration, the Competition and Markets Authority said on Tuesday.

Office against merger

“Adobe and Figma are two of the world’s leading software providers for app and web designers, and our research to date has shown that they are close competitors,” said Margot Daly, chair of the CMA’s independent inquiry group. “The proposed deal is therefore likely to impact the UK digital design industry by limiting choice, innovation and the development of new competitive products.”

To ease authorities’ concerns, companies may offer concessions ahead of a final decision to block the deal, which is expected at the end of February.

Brussels opposed

This month, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, published a statement of objections to the deal after an in-depth investigation. Antitrust authorities in Brussels feared the merger could “significantly reduce competition in global markets” in the supply of interactive product design tools.

The Commission alleged that Adobe’s XD product design software would be discontinued as a result of a “reverse takeover,” in which companies remove existing products in order to divest a competitor of a newly acquired service.

Both British and European regulators have argued that Figma could become a future competitor to Adobe in image editing and illustration software, suggesting the company would create competitors for Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator applications.

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