Sam Bowman on UK blocking Facebook-Giphy deal

Axios – ICLE Director of Competition Policy Sam Bowman was quoted by Axios in a story about the United Kingdom’s objections to Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy. The full story is available here.

The U.K. could trailblaze a “veto-like” system for global competition authorities, said Sam Bowman, director of competition policy at the International Center for Law & Economics. The EU and the U.S. are also seeking to loosen the rules for reviewing deals over competitive concerns.

What they’re saying: “It’s right in principle that the U.K. competition authority should be able to review deals, but once that becomes 100 [countries] doing the same thing, potentially almost any deal becomes unviable,” Bowman said.

…Bowman said the decision could also chill startups eyeing the U.K. as a market: “In the long run, we have to think about the effects this has on startups and the next Giphy. It might say, if you are a Giphy, perhaps if you would like to be acquired, and if you want to avoid this risk, just don’t supply to U.K. users.”