“Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched” the old adage goes and, as far as Adobe and Figma’s potential deal, it is looking to be increasingly appropriate when describing that situation.
That’s because the UK government just stepped in and called a halt to the whole thing, arguing that such a move could “harm the digital design sector in the UK.”
The UK government hopes to spell out how exactly the Adobe and Figma deal accomplishes this in the interim. Meanwhile, there’s little doubt that Adobe enjoys quite an oversized presence in most markets but it isn’t like it is without competition.
The UK government briefing details how important, in numbers, graphic design is to the national economy. Additionally, they spell out how many people are employed in that sector and how Figma and Adobe are two of the major players in that space. The argument basically asserts that the combination of the two companies leaves consumers with fewer choices in the marketplace. It’s probably also somewhat of a concern that Adobe’s purchase of Figma would add it to that company’s ever-growing borg of services and thus remove an important part of the UK design sector.
Under the “Product Design Software” heading,
“Figma’s products play a critical part in how companies design apps and websites to appear on people’s phones and tablets. Figma’s software is used by well-known firms in sectors, which are important to the success of the UK digital economy, including short-stay holidays (Airbnb), fashion (Patagonia) and telecommunications (Vodafone).
The inquiry group has provisionally concluded that the deal would remove the constraint Adobe exerts on Figma through its existing product design software, Adobe XD. The inquiry group also provisionally concluded that Adobe abandoned development of new product design software which could have competed even more closely with Figma and, given the timing of the decision, did this as a consequence of the merger. This supports the CMA’s concern that this proposed deal would likely reduce innovation and the development of competitive new products.”
Will the deal go through? Probably, but it remains to be cleared up on the UK regulatory side of things. Of course, we’ll keep you updated.
Do you use Figma? Let us know what you think of the company’s potential deal with Adobe in the comments.
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