EU Regulators To Asses Adobe’s $20 Billion Figma Deal

The European Commission (EC) is looking to assess Adobe’s $20 Billion Figma Deal. In an announcement today they said the proposed merger potentially “threatens to significantly affect competition in the market for interactive product design and whiteboarding software.”

This $20B deal does not meet the EU turnover thresholds set out in the EU merger regulations but there are separate provisions in Article 22 that allow member EU countries to refer specific cases to the EC if they believe that a transaction will diminish competition in specific European markets. “The proposed transaction does not reach the turnover thresholds set by the EU Merger Regulation (‘EUMR’) and therefore was not notified to the Commission. The transaction was notified for regulatory clearance in Austria and Germany, where it met national notification thresholds. Austria submitted a referral request to the Commission pursuant to Article 22(1) EUMR. “

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Adobe announced last September that it had entered into a merger agreement to acquire the web-based design platform for roughly $20bn in cash and stock. The company plans to leverage Figma’s digital whiteboard products to expand its collaboration offering for teams.

Adobe previously said it plans to close thetransaction sometime in 2023, subject to regulatory approval. By combining Adobe’s creative tools with Figma’s software, the two companies plan to bring designers and developers closer together through collaborative design.

The Commission said the transaction meets the criteria to potentially impact competition within the member states that are part of the referral request. Adobe has been told it can’t implement the deal “before notifying and obtaining clearance” from the Commission.

“In particular, the transaction threatens to significantly affect competition in the market for interactive product design and whiteboarding software, which is likely at least EEA-wide, and, therefore, in the referring countries,” The Commission said.