Adobe faces EU antitrust warning over Figma deal, sources say

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By Robert Fofana

Adobe faces EU antitrust warning over Figma deal, sources say
© Reuters. The corporate logo of software company Adobe is seen in Posa Studio school in Caracas, Venezuela October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/ File Photo

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Adobe (NASDAQ:)’s $20 billion bid for cloud-based designer platform Figma is set to face an EU antitrust warning in the coming days, three people familiar with the matter said, a move that would ratchet up pressure on the Photoshop maker to offer remedies.

Tech deals around the world have recently attracted tougher antitrust regulatory scrutiny amid fears that some bigger companies may be acquiring rival start-ups to shut them down or boost their market power.

The European Commission is readying a statement of objections to send to the companies in the coming days, the people said.

Such documents or charge sheets set out the EU competition watchdog’s concerns on why deals could be anti-competitive.

The EU agency opened a full-scale investigation into Adobe’s proposed acquisition in August, saying that it could reduce competition in global markets for interactive product design tools and also shut out rivals.

The Commission and Adobe, which can offer remedies to stave off the EU warning, declined to comment.

Some companies prefer to wait for a statement of objections so that they know the precise regulatory worries before they offer concessions. 

San Francisco-based Figma’s web-based collaborative platform for designs and brainstorming is used by tech companies such as Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:), Airbnb and Coinbase (NASDAQ:).

The Commission is due to decide on the deal by Feb. 5. 

SOURCE

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