CTOnews.com, Nov. 20 (Xinhua)-- EU regulators have formally filed antitrust charges against Adobe, opposing its $20 billion acquisition of cloud product design platform Figma for $20 billion (CTOnews.com Note: about RMB 144.4 billion). The European Commission launched an in-depth investigation on August 7 and concluded on Friday that if the deal was successful, it could "significantly reduce" global market competition for interactive product design tools, vector editing tools and raster editing tools.
The European Commission issued a statement of dissent reflecting its competition concerns. The statement stressed that EU officials believe that Figma has had a "significant restrictive impact" on Adobe's Illustrator and Photoshop editing tools, and that without a merger, Figma is "likely" to become a competitive force in the market for vector and raster editing tools.
The dissent statement does not prejudge the outcome of the EU investigation, which still has a deadline of February 5. Adobe and Figma can now respond to objections in writing, propose concessions to address the committee's specific regulatory concerns and request hearings, after which the committee will decide whether the acquisition violates antitrust law.
A spokesman for Adobe said in a statement to Bloomberg: "We remain confident in the benefits of our deal because Figma's product design is an adjacent area of Adobe's core creative products, and Adobe does not have meaningful competition plans in product design." A spokesman for Figma also told Bloomberg, "We are confident in addressing the concerns of regulators and will continue to engage in constructive dialogue focusing on the benefits this deal will bring to consumers and Europe's innovative economy."
So far, neither Adobe nor Figma has provided any remedies to address antitrust concerns raised by the investigation. After Adobe announced the deal earlier this year, it began phasing out Adobe XD, a UX / UI product design application similar to Figma. The committee now claims that the elimination of Adobe XD and any potential follow-up products would constitute a "reverse killer takeover", in which the company cancels its internal products in order to eliminate the potential competitive risk of newly acquired products or services.
The UK's Competition and Market Authority is conducting a similar in-depth investigation into the deal, while the US Department of Justice is rumored to be preparing an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal.
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