European antitrust authorities are preparing to launch a formal investigation into Adobe’s $20 billion purchase of the Figma cloud platform for designers. It is possible that the investigation will take many months and the deal will simply be thwarted.
The actions of the regulators once again testify to fears that the acquisition of small innovative companies by tech giants will ultimately destroy full-fledged competition in the software market.
So far, Adobe is in the preliminary stages of scrutiny of the purchase by global regulators and is negotiating the deal with UK, European and US authorities. Regulators intend to pay some attention to communicating with Figma’s management and owners.
News of the likely investigation came shortly after Britain’s competition regulator announced last month that it was looking into the deal, and in February Bloomberg reported that the US Department of Justice was preparing an antitrust lawsuit to block the purchase.
European regulators have previously said Adobe would need local government approval to acquire Figma, even if the deal as a whole does not meet the “revenue threshold” for special scrutiny by EU regulators.
Of course, Adobe isn’t the only company under scrutiny from regulators around the world. Not long ago, a US court suspended Microsoft Corporation’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. There are questions for the American IT giant and other regulators around the world.