Opposition appears to be mounting against Adobe’s planned merger, as the EU recently said the deal can’t go ahead until it is properly assessed.
Adobe’s plans to acquire design platform Figma may face another roadblock, as the US is reportedly preparing to block the deal, sources told Bloomberg.
The US Department of Justice is preparing the case, which could come as soon as next month, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
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 software giant aims to close the deal sometime this year, but requires regulatory approval. By combining Adobe’s creative tools with Figma’s software, the two companies plan to offer a mix of services for both designers and developers.
If the deal is approved, capabilities from Adobe’s imaging, photography, illustration, video, 3D and font technology will be brought into the Figma platform.
However, concerns have been raised in recent months that the deal could impact competition. Earlier this month, the European Commission said Adobe can’t conclude the acquisition until the deal is properly assessed.
This decision was made after multiple EU member states – including Ireland – asked the Commission to assess the deal, amid concerns it could impact competition within the European-Economic-Area (EEA).
“The transaction threatens to significantly affect competition in the market for interactive product design and whiteboarding software, which is likely at least EEA-wide, and, therefore, in the referring countries,” the Commission said.
An Adobe spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company is currently engaged in “constructive and cooperative discussions” with regulators, including those in the US, the EU and the UK. The spokesperson also said Adobe still plans to close the deal sometime this year.
Figma’s software is used by companies such as Airbnb, Google and Netflix to design their websites. The San-Franciscan start-up raised $50m in Series D funding in 2020, in a round led by Peter Levine and Marc Andreessen at Andreessen Horowitz.
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