Adobe has officially abandoned its $20 billion Figma acquisition

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Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition of Figma has been canceled due to regulatory blocks in the UK and European Union. 

The firm said the proposed deal will be scrapped due to there being “no clear path” for regulatory approval. Adobe will be forced to pay a $1 billion termination fee to Figma as part of the move.

Adobe chair and CEO Shantanu Narayen said the company disagrees with the positions of regulators, but noted the decision is “in our respective best interests to move forward independently”.

“While Adobe and Figma shared a vision to jointly redefine the future of creativity and productivity, we continue to be well positioned to capitalize on our massive market opportunity and mission to change the world through personalized digital experiences.”

The announcement brings to a close a lengthy battle between Adobe and regulators in the UK and EU, both of which argued that the deal would harm competition.

The announcement also marks one of the biggest scrapped deals in recent history, and could serve as a future warning to organizations conducting so-called “buy and kill” acquisition tactics.

Regulators in both the UK and European Union have taken a hard stance on big tech acquisitions in recent years in a bid to prevent major corporations from scooping up greater market share and harming consumer choice.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard served as a flashpoint in this ongoing battle. Although the deal was finally approved, Microsoft was forced to make significant concessions and robustly defend its position.

The CMA has been unwavering in its resolve with regard to big tech mergers and acquisitions, which Adobe may have been hoping to test. 


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In October 2022, the regulator ordered Meta to sell social media GIF library, Giphy, following a highly charged probe into the purchase.

The proposed deal would have given Meta “excessive power” and control over this market segment, the investigation found, with the CMA ruling the deal would lead to a “substantial lessening in competition” for UK social media services that would ultimately harm users.

Adobe and Figma have repeatedly disagreed with the stance taken by regulators on the deal, but have appeared unwilling to compromise.

Last week, Adobe rejected proposals from the CMA that would have seen the merger approved pending an in-depth antitrust probe. The CMA requested that Adobe conduct a divestment of assets as part of the deal to avoid infringing competition regulations.

Adobe described the suggestion as “wholly disproportionate” and held its ground, much to its own detriment.

Adobe-Figma acquisition: What happened?

Adobe first announced its intention to acquire Figma, a cloud-based creative designer platform, in September 2022. The move was subject to intense regulatory scrutiny from the offset, with the UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) arguing that it would reduce innovation and competition.

The CMA’s stance was largely based on the fact that Figma dominated a significant portion of the UI design market. Adobe, which had been “continuously investing in” this market segment, could harm long-term competition by completing the acquisition. 

Figma was also fast emerging as a key competitor to Adobe in the image, video, and animation market, the regulator said. Therefore the acquisition would seriously stifle innovation and have a negative impact on consumers.

“This important rivalry could be lost if the deal goes ahead,” the CMA said at the time.

The CMA’s position on the acquisition was echoed by European regulators, who in August announced plans to launch an in-depth antitrust investigation into the deal.

Regulators said at the time the move had the potential to “reduce competition in the global markets for the supply of interactive product design software and for digital asset creation tools”.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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