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EU opens investigation into Adobe’s Figma acquisition after previous risk analysis

EU opens investigation into Adobe’s Figma acquisition after previous risk analysis

The European Commission will officially open an in-depth investigation into Adobe’s acquisition of Figma. A preliminary investigation already pointed to a possible monopoly risk.

Adobe’s acquisition of Figma is already causing a third investigation by regulators. The European Commission is now interested in looking into the acquisition, while investigations in the UK and the US are already underway.

A preliminary investigation by the European Commission already gives a taste of the possible outcome of the official investigation. There is mainly the suspicion that the acquisition distorts Adobe’s competitive field. Figma’s web page and application design tools will be absorbed by a competitor offering similar tools through the acquisition. Thus, Adobe is effectively adding a major rival for its own products to its portfolio.

“With our in-depth investigation, we want to ensure that users continue to have access to a wide range of digital creative tools from which to choose,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, in the statement.

Decision by December

The acquisition was announced in late summer 2022. The transaction was not notified to the European Commission until late June 2023. The EU institution requested this after several EU member states requested an official investigation earlier this year.

The European Commission has 90 working days from the notification to complete the investigation so that a final decision will be made no later than Dec. 14, 2023.

The investigative push comes as no surprise to Adobe. The company previously hinted that it anticipated “lengthy investigations” following the acquisition. Yet the original acquisition plans cited the end of 2022 as the latest date to complete the acquisition.