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Meta sells Giphy to Shutterstock at a $347 million loss

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Seven months after UK’s antitrust authority issued a final order to Meta to sell Giphy, the animated GIF search engine has finally been bought by Shutterstock for $53 million. The sale isn’t all that good of a deal for Meta though, who acquired Giphy for $400 million back in 2020, as the company only made back around 13% of the original sale’s amount. 

Shutterstock announced that it expects the deal to close in June 2023 with $53 million of net cash paid at closing. Meta has also signed a commercial agreement allowing it to continue accessing Giphy’s content across its product suite. 

The sale puts the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) original order to rest which stated that the Meta-Giphy merger reduced dynamic competition. The sale was ordered back in November 2021 but Meta’s appeals against the decision held the process dead in its tracks.

Professional photography content is about to meet conversational meme content. | Source: Shutterstock

That is, until October 2022 when Meta confirmed that it’ll be dropping any appeals and selling Giphy. The selling process was still not started though, at least until the CMA issued another order to Meta in January 2023 telling it to sell off the company within a reported six-month time frame. 

There were conditions to the sale as well, which could explain why it took so long in the first place. Meta had to sell Giphy as an entity and to a buyer that’d keep the search engine going. Last but not least the CMA itself had the final say on who would buy Giphy from Meta. 

Luckily for Giphy, Shutterstock does seem to have some plans on how to monetise the platform, with focussed monetising efforts planned for 2024. Additionally, the company also expects Giphy to add “minimal revenue” in 2023. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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