On November 28, 2023, the UK Competition and Markets Authority published its provisional finding that Adobe Inc.’s impending purchase of Figma, Inc., the world’s leading provider of product design software, would likely harm competition in the UK. According to the CMA, more than 80 percent of the professional product design market uses Figma’s software. In Phase 2 of its investigation, the CMA determined that the $20 billion deal between competitors Figma and Adobe, the largest supplier of image editing and illustration software such as well-known Photoshop and Illustrator applications, would eliminate competition in the product design, image editing, and illustration software markets. The CMA also determined that the merger would reduce innovation and the development of new competitive products in the market, and would remove the threat to Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator products posed by Figma, which would likely have continued to develop its own image editing and illustration capabilities.
The CMA will now consult on these findings and identify potential remedies of the competition concerns, which may include blocking the deal completely. The CMA will accept comments from interested parties until December 19, 2023, and will consider these comments before issuing a final decision by February 25, 2024.