Software giant Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition of online design company Figma has been called off. According to reports, the two companies took the decision amid antitrust concerns in Europe. The cash-and-stock deal was announced in September 2022.
“Although both companies continue to believe in the merits and procompetitive benefits of the combination, Adobe and Figma mutually agreed to terminate the transaction based on a joint assessment that there is no clear path to receive necessary regulatory approvals from the European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority,” Adobe and Figma said in a joint statement on Monday.
The European Commission said Monday that it was aware of the decision to terminate the deal and that its investigation into the proposed transaction had now ended.
Several US companies have had hit roadblocks in Europe over monopoly fears.
On Sunday, Biotech giant Illumina said it would go back on its $7.1 billion purchase of the cancer-screening company Grail. Last month, Amazon had faced the ire of European regulators who red-flagged its proposed takeover of robot vacuum maker iRobot.
Microsoft had a tough time negotiating with antitrust agencies in Europe and US over its October takeover of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion.
Adobe will now pay a termination fee of $1 billion to Figma.
The move came after Britain’s antitrust body Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the deal would harm innovation for software used by the vast majority of UK digital designers.
The company had argued it was not in competition with Figma.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said on Monday the firms “strongly disagree with the recent regulatory findings, but we believe it is in our respective best interests to move forward independently.”
With inputs from AP, Reuters