The $20 billion acquisition of cloud designer platform Figma by software giant Adobe is expected to be the subject of a formal probe by European antitrust regulators later this year.
According to the Financial Times, which cited sources with knowledge of the proposal, EU officials intend to move through with a thorough probe over anti-competition issues. This process may take months, and it could ultimately lead to the deal’s complete collapse.
These actions highlight the concerns of international regulators that the acquisition of smaller, inventive rivals by major digital firms may stifle competition.
The businesses said in separate emailed statements to Reuters that Adobe is in the beginning stages of the regulatory process and is in productive discussions about the merger with British, EU, and U.S. regulators, while Figma looks forward to further regulatory dialogues.
The news follows the announcement last month by Britain’s competition watchdog that it was looking into the Adobe-Figma merger and a February report by Bloomberg that the US Justice Department was planning an antitrust case to prevent the merger.
Despite the deal falling short of the EU’s turnover requirement for a review, EU officials have previously stated that Adobe would still need to obtain antitrust permission for the Figma deal.