The US Department of Justice has asked Adobe and Figma for more information on their $20 billion acquisition of a web design collaboration platform.
About two months ago, Adobe announced its acquisition of Figma, sparking concerns in the creative industries that it might merge the platform with its Adobe XD program and raise prices. It was previously revealed that Justice Department officials were interviewing Figma’s customers, competitors and investors to determine the likely consequences of the startup’s transition to new ownership.
On October 14, Adobe and Figma filed pre-acquisition documentation with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). However, exactly one month later, according to documents filed by Adobe with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Justice Department requested additional information and a new set of documents regarding the announced transaction from the company. After submission of these documents, the parties cannot proceed with the acquisition process within 30 days, unless the Department of Justice or the court decides otherwise or the parties decide to extend this period by mutual agreement.
If the Justice Department and the FTC aren’t satisfied with the answers to their questions, they can take government action, consistent with antitrust laws: require the sale of significant assets from the two companies or even prohibit the transaction altogether. The biggest deal in Adobe history could also come under scrutiny from regulators in other countries.
Web-based vector graphics editor Figma started working on a shareware model in 2016, today the platform has 4 million users. For comparison, a program that offers similar functionality to Adobe XD has been purchased by just over 9,900 companies.