Adobe Inc. and Figma Inc. have received a second request for information from the US Department of Justice on Adobe’s proposed $20 billion acquisition of its startup rival, signaling stepped-up antitrust scrutiny of the purchase.
The deal, which would be one of the largest takeovers of a private software maker ever, was announced Sept. 15 with a targeted completion in 2023. Adobe, the top maker of creative software for design professionals, is looking to expand its web-based offerings to make inroads with nonprofessional customers and small businesses. That market has gravitated in recent years to web-native companies such as San Francisco-based Figma, Canva Inc. and Lightricks Ltd.
The Justice Department on Monday asked Adobe and Figma to provide additional information on the deal, known as a second request, the companies said in a regulatory filing. The action means regulatory approval for the deal can’t come until at least 30 days after Adobe and Figma fulfill the request, the DOJ ends its review, or the parties agree to an extension, the companies said. Bloomberg earlier this month reported that the Justice Department had initiated an antitrust investigation of the proposed acquisition, according to people familiar with the issue.
Figma is used to prototype and design interfaces for apps and websites, and has built a devoted customer base due to its highly collaborative system, freemium pricing and lightweight interface. While it has trounced Adobe’s rival XD offering in recent years, San Jose, California-based Adobe argues that Figma isn’t a meaningful competitor.
Wall Street analysts criticized the purchase price and investors also seem skeptical, sending Adobe’s shares down 9% since the announcement and 40% for the year.
The merger agreement considers the possibility of an extended regulatory review, allowing for a later completion deadline of March 2024.
–With assistance from Sabiq Shahidullah.
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Adobe Receives US Justice Request for More Data on Figma Deal – The Washington Post