Adobe Drops $20 Billion Bid for Figma Citing Regulatory Opposition to Deal, Will Pay $1 Billion Breakup Fee

Adobe called off plans to buy Figma, a web-based collaborative design platform, citing regulatory opposition to the proposed $20 billion deal.

Adobe and Figma on Monday said they mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement, originally announced Sept. 15, 2022. Adobe said it will pay Figma the previously agreed-on deal-termination fee of $1 billion.

More from Variety

“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 U.K. Competition and Markets Authority,” the companies said.

Adobe’s proposed deal for Figma would have been its biggest-ever acquisition. The $20 billion price tag was to comprise about half cash and half stock. In 2021, Adobe paid $1.275 billion for, a cloud-based video collaboration platform with more than 1 million users across media and entertainment companies, agencies and brands.

In a Nov. 28 report, the U.K.’s CMA said it “provisionally found competition concerns as part of its in-depth investigation of the anticipated acquisition by Adobe Inc. of Figma, Inc.” Specifically, the CMA said it identified the risk that the Adobe-Figma merger would substantially reduce competition in “the global market for all-in-one product design software for professional users” as well as for vector editing and raster editing software.

The regulatory body identified possible remedies as either blocking the deal altogether or requiring Adobe to divest “overlapping operations in interactive product design, raster editing and vector editing.” In a Dec. 14 response, the companies said a divestment of Figma Design “is wholly disproportionate to address the minimal and declining competition offered by Adobe XD” — a vector design tool that competes with Figma Design — while Adobe’s Spice screen design product was “an early stage R&D project for which a product was never built and never launched.”

“Adobe and Figma strongly disagree with the recent regulatory findings, but we believe it is in our respective best interests to move forward independently,” Adobe chair and CEO Shantanu Narayen said in a statement. “While Adobe and Figma shared a vision to jointly redefine the future of creativity and productivity, we continue to be well positioned to capitalize on our massive market opportunity and mission to change the world through personalized digital experiences.”

Founded in 2012, Figma provides a collaboration system for developers of interactive mobile and web applications.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.