Regulatory Hurdles Delay Adobe-Figma $20 Billion Deal


In a surprising announcement in September 2022, Adobe revealed its intention to acquire Figma for a whopping $20 billion. This deal, which would make investors and Figma employees extremely wealthy, quickly garnered attention. However, more than a year later, the acquisition is still stuck in regulatory limbo.

Key Takeaway

The Adobe-Figma acquisition, announced over a year ago, is still awaiting regulatory approval. Figma has been proactive in its operations, while both companies have engaged with regulatory bodies to address any concerns about antitrust issues. The decision of regulators will determine if the deal is allowed to proceed, potentially shaping the future of both companies.

A Year of Waiting

Since the deal was announced, there have been no significant developments in the merger. Figma, on the other hand, has continued to operate independently and even made strides in its platform. The company has hired 500 new employees, bringing its total workforce to 1,300. Additionally, Figma hosted the Config conference in June, which attracted over 8,000 attendees and introduced a developer mode, making the tool more appealing to Adobe.

Addressing Antitrust Concerns

From the beginning, there were questions about whether Adobe’s acquisition of Figma would eliminate a key competitor or simply fill a gap in its product line. These concerns were promptly taken up by regulatory bodies in the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Both companies have spent considerable time and resources meeting with regulators, aiming to convince them that the deal is not anticompetitive.

Despite the lack of direct communication between the companies, Figma published a blog post speculating on what a merger with Adobe could look like. Notably, Adobe integrated Firefly, its generative AI offering, into Creative Cloud while awaiting regulatory approval.

The Regulatory Puzzle

Regulators in the U.S., EU, and UK have been diligently reviewing the acquisition filings for over a year. Given Figma’s significant standing in the market and the substantial financial implications of the deal, it is unsurprising that regulators are taking their time to thoroughly assess the potential competitive impact of the merger.

The outcome of their review will have far-reaching consequences, determining whether Adobe and Figma will remain separate entities or come together, with a substantial transfer of funds. As the tech world eagerly awaits the regulatory verdict, all eyes are on the regulators to see how they will address the concerns surrounding this high-profile acquisition.

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