In response to Adobe’s $20 billion bid for Figma, EU regulators have issued a formal antitrust complaint. On Friday, the European Commission concluded that if the deal goes through, it could hurt competition for things like design tools and editing programs. They started closely looking at the deal back in August.
The Commission, which oversees competition in the EU, is worried that Figma challenges Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. Figma might become even more of a threat without being bought. The regulators said Figma acts as a “constraint” on Adobe now and could grow as a “competitive force” on its own.
The complaint doesn’t guarantee the deal will be blocked, but raises objections the companies must address. Adobe and Figma can now respond in writing to explain how they’ll ensure fair competition. A final decision is due by February on whether it breaks antitrust rules.
Adobe said Figma’s designs are “adjacent” and not in direct competition. Both companies feel confident concerns can be resolved. But they haven’t yet presented solutions. Adding to worries, Adobe recently ended its similar XD program, leading concerns of a “reverse killer acquisition.”
Regulators in other places like the UK and US are also examining the merger. With over $20 billion at stake and competition issues to solve, the future of this massive deal remains uncertain. Stay tuned as Adobe and Figma work to gain approval from global watchdogs over antitrust matters.