Adobe’s $20bn Figma deal hit with in-depth EU investigation

8 Aug 2023

Image: © Mat Hayward/

The European Commission is concerned that the deal could reduce competition in important markets, while the deal faces similar roadblocks in the UK and US.

Adobe’s planned acquisition of Figma is facing another hurdle, as the European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into the deal.

The European Commission said it is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the global markets for the supply of interactive product design software and for digital asset creation tools.

The Commission reached this concern after a preliminary investigation it conducted earlier this year. The in-depth probe aims to confirm if this concern is valid.

Adobe announced last September that it had entered into a merger agreement to acquire the web-based design platform for roughly $20bn in cash and stock. The company plans to leverage Figma’s digital whiteboard products to expand its collaboration offering for teams.

The deal was not initially notified to the Commission as it did not meet the turnover thresholds set out in EU merger regulations. However, 17 countries raised concerns earlier this year that the deal could impact competition within the European Economic Area.

The Commission said Figma is the “clear market leader” in terms of interactive product design tools, with Adobe being one of its largest competitors.

This initial investigation raised concerns that the deal could remove an “important competitive force” and prevent other entities from entering the market.

The Commission also said the bundling of Figma with Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite could foreclose rival providers of interactive product design tools. The Commission has until 14 December 2023 to take a decision on the proposed acquisition.

“Adobe and Figma are two leading providers of software for the creative community in the digital sphere,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said. “Many users and businesses rely on their digital design tools to excel in their work.

“With our in-depth investigation we aim to ensure that users continue to have access to a wide pool of digital creative tools among which to choose.”

Meanwhile, the UK is conducting its own in-depth probe into the deal over similar competition concerns. The deal between the two companies has also reportedly faced opposition in the US, where they are both headquartered.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic