Based on the information provided by the referring countries, the European Commission stated that the proposed transaction by Adobe threatens to significantly stifle competition in the market for interactive product design and whiteboarding software


The EC plans to review the $20bn deal of Adobe and Figma. (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons)

The European Commission (EC) said that it will review the previously announced software major Adobe’s $20bn acquisition of web-first collaborative design platform Figma under the EU merger regulation (EUMR).

Adobe announced the cash and stock deal in September 2022.

The regulator said that the request to review the proposed deal was submitted by Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Denmark, Czechia, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Norway.

According to the Commission, the proposed transaction threatens to considerably stifle competition in the market for interactive product design and whiteboarding software. The regulator made the statement based on the information provided by the referring countries.

The antitrust authority also said that it is best positioned to review the potential cross-border impacts of the proposed deal.

Adobe’s acquisition of Figma does not meet the EUMR’s turnover thresholds and was therefore not notified to the Commission.

However, the deal met national notification thresholds in Austria and Germany and the former submitted a referral request to the regulatory body under Article 22(1) EUMR.

The regulatory body said that it will now ask the software major to notify the transaction.

The Commission stated: “Adobe cannot implement the transaction before notifying and obtaining clearance from the Commission.”

Founded in 2012 by the duo of Dylan Field and Evan Wallace, Figma serves as a collaborative web application to help those who design interactive mobile and web applications to collaborate via multi-player workflows, design systems, and a developer ecosystem.

Post-acquisition, Adobe expects to have a huge, fast-growing market opportunity and capabilities to bring significant value to shareholders, customers, and the industry.

Subject to regulatory clearances and approvals along with other conditions such as Figma’s stockholders’ approval, the deal is expected to be wrapped up this year.