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Adobe's $20 Billion Acquisition of Figma Stalled by Regulatory Hurdles

In September 2022, Adobe made headlines by announcing its intention to acquire Figma for a staggering $20 billion, a huge sum for a startup previously valued at half that amount. The deal promised to bring financial windfalls to investors and Figma employees. However, over a year later, the two companies still exist separately, caught in a regulatory tangle.

This extended delay in the tech world has not stopped Figma’s progress. Since the deal’s announcement, Figma has hired an additional 500 employees, now boasting a total of 1,300. In June, they hosted the Config conference, unveiling a new developer mode, potentially making Figma more enticing to Adobe, should the deal eventually go through.

When the acquisition was first revealed, questions arose about whether Adobe was eliminating a significant competitor or filling a gap in its product line. Regulators stepped in to make that determination. Adobe and Figma representatives have spent substantial time meeting with various regulatory bodies, aiming to prove that the acquisition would not stifle competition.

During this time, both companies have remained independent entities. Figma even wrote a blog post speculating on what it would be like if they were united. Meanwhile, Adobe introduced Firefly, its generative AI, into the Creative Cloud.

Currently, the ball is in the regulators’ court, with their review process extending more than a year. The outcome of their decisions will dictate whether Adobe and Figma continue as separate entities or unite, with billions of dollars potentially changing hands. The tech world watches closely as this $20 billion deal hangs in the balance, uncertain of its ultimate fate.

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