Adobe Inc.’s $20 billion (18.9 billion euros) takeover of Figma Inc. risks delays after European Union watchdogs stopped the clock running on their in-depth probe to seek missing details about the deal.
(Bloomberg) — Adobe Inc.’s $20 billion (18.9 billion euros) takeover of Figma Inc. risks delays after European Union watchdogs stopped the clock running on their in-depth probe to seek missing details about the deal.
The European Commission said it took the step — increasingly common in complex deal reviews — on Sept. 19 after the firms failed to provide “in a timely fashion, an important piece of information” that it had requested from them. The clock will start again once the data has been handed over, the regulator added. Adobe declined to comment.
The planned deal will give San Jose-based Adobe control of world-leading web design platform Figma, in a move described by Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen as “transformational.”
The transaction is seen as a massive bet that more creative work will be done by small businesses and everyday users on the web, a market that Figma has rapidly seized. While Adobe has introduced less-expensive, streamlined products for that audience, most of its offerings are still heavyweight programs aimed at specialists.
In recent weeks, top officials from Adobe and Figma have flown to Brussels for talks with EU merger enforcers over the proposed deal, as concerns arise over whether the bloc’s merger officials will take a particularly robust stance against the deal.
The EU’s so-called phase 2 review, announced in August, analyzes “whether the transaction may foreclose rival providers” by “bundling Figma with Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite.” As part of such investigations, regulators can demand remedies to solve competition concerns but sometimes also decide to give their unconditional approval if initial concerns are shown to be unfounded.
Adobe also faces scrutiny further afield. The deal is already being vetted by the UK’s competition watchdog and the US Department of Justice.
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