Regulator delays Adobe's $20B buy of Figma, derails deal deadline

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Britain's title regulator is extending into 2024 its prolonged investigation of Adobe's $20 cardinal acquisition of Figma, upending nan package giant's scheme to complete nan transaction by nan extremity of this year.

The eye-wateringly costly connection was made by Adobe immoderate 13 months ago, and truthful acold nan US Department of Justice, nan EU antitrust team and nan UK’s Competition and Markets Authority are intimately considering nan imaginable consequences for customers and rivals.

For nan uninitiated, Figma is simply a web-first creation collaboration startup that created a vector-based creation editing and schematic vector tool. Its browser-based app manages record statement by listing projects and their files successful a dedicated format. No installation, aliases patching and nary updates. It was founded successful 2016 and received $332.9 cardinal funding.

The CMA launched a deeper probe successful July and has now confirmed that its ain findings won't beryllium reported by December 31, itself a revision from nan earlier December 27 deadline.

"The Inquiry Group see that completion of its investigation and nan publication of its last study will not beryllium imaginable wrong location revised reference period," nan CMA said [PDF].

The caller day aimed for is February 25, 2024, aliases 8 weeks later than was initially scheduled. The regulator said it "considers that location are typical reasons to" widen nan inquiry, and that it "aims to complete nan enquiry arsenic soon arsenic imaginable and successful beforehand of this date."

The "complexity of nan case," combing done nan applicable statement submissions, and nan "important facet of competition, specifically title successful merchandise improvement betwixt firms" were fixed arsenic reasons for taking nan decision.

The CMA added:

"This move title involves efforts aliases investments aimed astatine protecting aliases expanding a firm's marketplace position and profits successful nan future. As such, nan competitory appraisal needs to consider, amongst different matters, nan merger parties' maturation strategies, including innovations, investments and merchandise improvement and really specified matters effect nan parties' abilities and incentives to participate aliases grow successful nan applicable markets."

In July, nan title watchdog highlighted worries nan tie-up could "stifle invention and lead to higher costs for companies" that trust connected devices made by Figma aliases Adobe.

Some of Figma's 4 cardinal customers are worried that Adobe will merge its XD merchandise pinch Figma, and up subscription prices, though Figma co-founder Dylan Field has said this won't happen.

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Should nan transaction not happen, Adobe will salary Figma a termination interest of $1 billion. Adobe execs had successful March anticipated nan woody being completed by nan adjacent of nan year.

"From nan outset, we person been good prepared for each imaginable scenarios while realistic astir nan regulatory environment," said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen successful nan spring.

He added: "Adobe remains assured successful nan facts underlying nan case. And based connected existent process timing, we judge nan transaction continues to beryllium connected way for a adjacent by nan extremity of 2023."

We asked Adobe to remark coming and nan European property agency said our petition had been sent to PR overlords successful nan US. ®