back to article UK regulator 'broke international law', says Facebook

Facebook claimed in court today that Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) broke international law when it blocked the ad company's $400m buyout of Giphy. Facebook tried to acquire the animated images provider in May 2020 for $400m. The UK competition body, the CMA, stepped in last year to block the deal after …

  1. JassMan

    there was "global concern" about the CMA blocking the merger.

    More likely there is global concern that Meta think they are above the law of any individual country. On balance it seems that all the concern comes from Meta so technically as a global corporation they are correct but this is a half truth at best.

  2. Chris G

    Facebook is long overdue for a serious antitrust hearing, followed by being dismantled into tiny pieces. Then the pieces should be kicked around until they finally disappear.

    1. Blitheringeejit

      "Then the *founder* should be kicked around until they finally disappear."


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "... for a serious antitrust hearing"

      Not likely. If the word "trust" is involved in anyway, Facebook isn't.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Then the pieces should be kicked around

      Incorrect. The pieces should be burned. With fire.

      Possibly from orbit? Just to be sure...

  3. Jim Mitchell

    Which International Law? As I understand it, outside things like treaties, most "international law" is just what nations agree that it is. Facebook, not being a nation, doesn't get much say in that.

    1. marcellothearcane

      Wikipedia says

      Nation-states observe the principle of par in parem non habet imperium, 'Between equals there is no sovereign power'. This is affirmed in Article 2 (1) of the UN Charter, which holds that no state is in subjection to any other state. John Austin therefore asserted that 'so-called' international law, lacking a sovereign power and so unenforceable, was not really law at all, but "positive morality", consisting of "opinions and sentiments...more ethical than legal in nature."

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Wikipedia says

        And I suspect Meta would prefer to cleave to the legal concept also espoused by the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork: Quia Ego Sic Dico...

        1. Joe W Silver badge

          Re: Wikipedia says

          Ah, that principle has highest precedence in this case (also if you are an emperor who does use the phase "heads will roll")

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wikipedia says

        Nation-states observe the principle of par in parem non habet imperium, 'Between equals there is no sovereign power'. This is affirmed in Article 2 (1) of the UN Charter, which holds that no state is in subjection to any other state.

        Ah, yes, that's the principle that the US so enthusiastically ignores. See Cloud Act..

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Facebook, not being a nation"

      Quite, but who's going to tell them?

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Pot calling the kettle black

    If the CMA did break anything in the first place.

  5. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge


    Did Meta not notice the Brexit thing? They should have. A lot of people spent a lot of money on their platform making it happen. They also siphoned off a lot of data so they could figure out who to target and Facebook had to slap them on the wrists.

    Well, the whole point of the Brexit thing they enabled was so we could become sovereign. That means ignoring treaties our current government signed two years ago and generally not giving a fig and doing what the hell we like. So they shouldn't be surprised when we go against international law. Whatever it is, we'd willingly leave it.

    And anyway, it pales into significance compared to what US agencies and courts do.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the CMA misdirected itself [..] and exercised its jurisdiction in breach of international law"

    What international law, pray tell ?

    Which international law does Facebook think means it has the right to purchase any company it wants ?

    If I'm not mistaken, Nvidia has just been prevented from realizing a $66 billion merger with Arm. Does The Zuck really imagine his $400 million merger is more important ?

    Of course not. It's just that, as a complete human failure, he cannot compute when he hears "no".

  7. Anonymous Coward

    What International Law? Obviously . . .

    Whatever Zuck wants, Zuck gets.

    1. anonymousI

      Re: What International Law? Obviously . . .

      Not sure whether to upvote that for telling the (odious) truth...

      ...or downvote it for telling the odious truth.

  8. ShadowSystems

    Make Zuck a deal...

    If he comes over to argue his opinion in court, you'll give him a listen, but if he refuses then so will you & toss the case out With Extreme Prejudice. Then, if he shows up, arrest the bastard, toss him in a cell, & break the key off in the lock to prevent escape.

    "But that's against his Human Rights!" Not really, that argument assumes Zuck is Human & we've yet to have that proved in court beyond reasonable doubt.

    Once he's in the cell can we stream the A/V feed to a Youtube channel dedicated to folks getting to suggest/vote on various punishments to be administered while on air? I bid a sack of Pounds to force him to listen to a bunch of untrained Scottish bagpipers all trying to play different songs all at once.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make Zuck a deal...

      Well, I don't think that's cruel, but it's certainly unusual :).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make Zuck a deal...

      It’s no different than when they are playing the same song.

    3. Loyal Commenter

      Re: Make Zuck a deal...

      You just have to make sure that cell has a US 110V electrical socket, or he might starve to death. He probably can't eat the UK 250V stuff.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Make Zuck a deal...

      untrained Scottish bagpipers

      I'm reminded of the phrase:

      A gentleman is someone who, despite knowing how to play the bagpipes, refrains from doing so..

      (Actually - I quite like a bit of bagpipe music..)

  9. .stu

    $400 million for some software that makes GIFs???

    1. Psmo
      Big Brother

      Well, more the database of users and the graph of IP connections from enterprise and personal clients, but I am sure Meta would rather you look at the pictures.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge


    Proof you can fool many of the people most of the time.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge


    Never heard of it... Who Giphy's a phuck?

  12. Ace2 Silver badge

    The first step to dealing with our civilization-wide Facebook and Google problem is to stop them from getting any bigger.

    Not a hard call.

  13. localzuk Silver badge

    Problematic concept...

    As Facebook/Meta and Giphy both operate across borders, if Facebook's argument rings true, this would be a very worrying concept - it would effectively render such corporate deals impossible to police - as they could say the same thing in response for any cross border deal like this?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enough hoovering tech companies, Zuck. How about you actually find someone who can CREATE something other than a glorified chat server?

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