UK regulator extends deadline for Adobe’s Figma deal probe

Britain’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced today the extension of its ongoing scrutiny into Adobe Inc’s $20 billion acquisition of cloud-based design platform Figma. The in-depth investigation, which began in July, will now continue until February 25, 2024, marking an eight-week extension beyond the initial deadline of December 27, 2023.

The CMA initiated a phase two investigation into Adobe’s purchase of Figma after Adobe declined to provide any concessions to address the regulator’s concerns. An independent inquiry group was appointed to oversee the probe.

The CMA’s examination centres on the potential implications of the deal for competition in product development, the firm’s growth strategies, and its capacity to expand into new markets. Both Adobe and Figma have presented detailed arguments to counter these concerns.

In September 2022, Adobe made waves by announcing a cash-and-stock deal to acquire Figma, constituting the largest buyout of a privately owned software startup. Figma’s web-based collaborative platform for designs and brainstorming is highly popular among tech-based giants.

This extended investigation reflects the CMA’s commitment to thoroughly evaluate the competitive landscape and ensure that the interests of consumers and businesses are protected in light of this substantial acquisition. The regulator is expected to release its findings and any necessary recommendations on or before the new deadline in February 2024.