Adobe, Figma Deal Bad for Innovation- UK Regulator

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Adobe, Figma Deal Bad for Innovation- UK Regulator

The United Kingdom (U.K) Competition and Markets Authority said it has provisionally found Adobe’s planned $20 billion acquisition of collaboration software company Figma would likely harm innovation for software used by the vast majority of U.K. digital designers.

The regulator said Tuesday that, following a detailed Phase 2 investigation, it provisionally found that the deal would eliminate competition between two main companies in product-design software, reduce innovation and the development of new competitive products, and remove Figma as a threat to Adobe’s flagship Photoshop and Illustrator products.

“We are disappointed in the CMA’s findings and disagree with the CMA’s perspective on this transaction,” an Adobe spokesperson said to the Wall Street Journal.

“Adobe and Figma will deliver significant value to customers. We are reviewing the provisional findings and will reengage with the CMA on the facts and merits of the case.”

Figma also told the Wall Street Journal it was disappointed by the CMA’s provisional findings and disagrees with the assertion that Figma competes with Adobe today or has plans to do so in the future.

“We remain committed to the deal, confident in the facts, and convinced our proposed combination with Adobe is a win for consumers and should be approved,” a Figma spokesperson said.

The CMA said the deal would eliminate competition between the two companies in three software markets–product design, image editing and illustration.

It added the U.K.’s digital design sector is worth nearly 60 billion pounds ($75.76 billion), around 2.7% of the country’s economy, and a market which heavily utilizes Adobe and Figma software.

“Adobe and Figma are two of the world’s leading providers of software for app and web designers and our investigation so far has found that they are close competitors.

“This proposed deal, therefore, has the potential to impact the U.K.’s digital design industry by reducing choice, innovation and the development of new competitive products,” said Margot Daly, chair of the independent group that conducted the investigation.

The CMA said it would consult on its findings and listen to further views before making a final decision. It has invited responses from interested parties by Dec. 19.

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