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

Britain's competition regulator is extending into 2024 its prolonged investigation of Adobe's $20 billion purchase of Figma, upending the software giant's plan to complete the transaction by the end of this year. The eye-wateringly expensive proposal was made by Adobe some 13 months ago, and so far the US Department of Justice …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Constantly Missing Action

    Why is CMA not looking at Home Office distorting the market by providing stream of labourers below the market rates that certain companies enjoy?

    Or how about Chinese sellers on very much every UK marketplace, not having to conform to any regulations and easily undercutting local small businesses?

    Naaaaaah, let's focus resources on irrelevant, but big sounding cases...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Constantly Missing Action

      "Or how about Chinese sellers on very much every UK marketplace, not having to conform to any regulations and easily undercutting local small businesses?"

      That's true, but it is not the CMA's job to address, because if sellers are offering goods that are non-compliant with product regulations, then it is the collective job of the Office of Product Safety and Standards (part of the Department of Business and Trade), Trading Standards in local authorities, and the various border authorities to intercept the goods. They're hindered by very limited resources so that despite volumes of container imports being roughly 20% higher than ten years ago, there's half as many trading standards officers as there were then, along with well out of date legislation. In terms of resource, a reasonably educated estimate from public data of the the resources being spent on regulating product sales is about £100m nationally. Our imports of products within the scope of the Office of Stuff(tm) can be reasonably guesstimated at about £200bn a year from a crude carve up of National Statistics data, so product regulation (all paid for through taxation) is about 0.05% of the value of those good. There's no right answer on what that value should be, but it does explain the prevalence of shonky and illegal-to-sell goods being offered online. And even the big players who do know better are at it.

      Here's an example: the Office of Stuff stating that it's illegal to chain saw disks or toothed saw disks for angle grinders:

      https://www.gov.uk/product-safety-alerts-reports-recalls/product-safety-alert-angle-grinder-chainsaw-disc-attachment-psa2

      https://www.gov.uk/product-safety-alerts-reports-recalls/product-safety-alert-angle-grinder-toothed-saw-blade-attachments-psa5

      And here's ManonMano flouting the regulations:

      https://www.manomano.co.uk/cat/angle+grinder+chainsaw+disc

      And here's Amazon:

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carbide-Grinder-Circular-Woodworking-Finishing/dp/B0CBV78TT4/ref=asc_df_B0CBV78TT4/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=658906229984&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17845235912680947734&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1007011&hvtargid=pla-2197315811958&th=1

      There's tons for sale on sites like AliExpress, but then again you'd be daft to expect anything less.

      And you think they don't know? Well, they've had a stern talking to from the minister responsible some months back:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-minister-hosts-online-marketplace-round-table

      Meanwhile, the government's thinking on regulation is that there's far too much of it, so there's a consultation in progress about "streamlining" regulators, so you can guess how that will pan out.

  2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Devil

    The combination of Adobe and Figma will deliver significant value to customers our shareholders by making product design more accessible and efficient the competition smaller, reimagining creative capabilities on the web our monthly fees and creating new categories of creativity and productivity charging levels. We have been delighted to hear overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers our shareholders worldwide and are excited about the economic benefits the deal will bring to us.

    FTFY.

  3. TVU Silver badge

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

    Good, because this is a very highly anti-competitive action on the part of Adobe (same applies to Corel's acquisition of Gravit which should also have been blocked).

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "although Figma co-founder Dylan Field has said this won't happen"

    Does he believe he'll have any say in the matter?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Why it even matters? If Figma disappeared from the face of Earth today, most people would not notice.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        That probably means it's not a monopoly. Not being a monopoly is a Good Thing.

        Not that I'd have any interest in using a graphics editor that relies on somebody else's computer.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          That probably means it's not a monopoly. Not being a monopoly is a Good Thing.

          But it also means that CMA should be doing their job rather than procrastinate on imaginary problems, wasting our money.

        2. Lurko

          "Not that I'd have any interest in using a graphics editor that relies on somebody else's computer."

          If the alternative is Adobe's cruddy, bloated, expensive software then I can see two sides to the argument. If a corporation should be barred from involvement in software for the rest of eternity, then Adobe would top the list, despite very strong competition from Microsoft and Google.

    2. jonathan keith

      The full quote* from Field was "This won't happen... until after my Adobe shares have vested."

      * not really

  5. spireite Silver badge
    Coat

    So the purchase still remains a Figma of Adobes imagination.

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