EU Commission issues objections to Adobe's $20B Figma acquisition

EU Commission issues objections to Adobe's $20B Figma acquisition

The EU Commission has published a Statement of Objections, outlining the ways in which the deal could potentially reduce competition in the global interactive product design software market.

Credit: Loek Essers/IDGNS

The EU Commission has issued a Statement of Objections regarding Adobe's proposed $20 billion acquisition of web-based collaborative design company Figma.

The Statement of Objections is part of an ongoing investigation the Commission launched after Adobe announced its intention to buy Figma, looking into concerns that if the transaction were to go ahead, it could affect competition in the product-design software market.

In its statement, the Commission outlined a number of concerns around the deal, primarily that the acquisition has the potential to not only reduce competition in the market for interactive product-design applications, but also for vector- and raster-editing tools.

Figma is the clear market leader for interactive product design tools, and Adobe one of its largest competitors, the Commission said. “The transaction is likely to create a dominant player by combining these market positions,” the Commission said.

Highlighting concerns around vector- and raster-editing tools, the Commission said that while Figma currently “exerts a significant constraining influence on Adobe's vector editing tool,” by acquiring the company, Adobe would be able to eliminate Figma as a potential competitor.

Adobe has not yet returned a request for comment.

The Commission's final decision regarding the merger is due to be handed down on February 5. The Commission said it had no further comment to make at this stage, beyond what was published in its press release.

“The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. Adobe now has the opportunity to reply to the Commission's Statement of Objections, to consult the Commission's case file and to request an oral hearing,” the Commission said.

It is not known whether Adobe has already attempted to remedy the concerns outlined by the Commission. However, Europe is not the only jurisdiction under which the deal has faced scrutiny.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is also due to conclude its investigation into the merger in February, while multiple news outlets have previously reported that the US Department of Justice is preparing its own antitrust lawsuit to block the deal.

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