Meta Platforms struck a deal to sell graphic interchange format (GIF) picture provider Giphy to image repository company Shutterstock for $53 million, a major loss for the tech group on an issue-riddled acquisition it spent $400 million on in 2020.

Shutterstock stated it will pay for the acquisition in cash at closing, which is targeted for June. It added the tie-up adds a mobile content platform with 1.7 billion daily users and global partners including Instagram, Samsung, TikTok and more to its business.

For Meta Platforms, the acquisition of Giphy was plagued with problems and a sale was expected following a UK regulatory notice in 2021 ordering an offloading of the business.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made the ruling following an investigation, concluding the tie-up reduced competition in the social media and display advertising markets.

In addition, Meta Platforms was hit with fines of £50 million in 2021 and $1.5 million in 2022 over repeatedly failing to comply with conditions of an Initial Enforcement Order imposed during the acquisition process.

Following a failed appeal by Meta Platforms, the CMA issued its final order for the sale in January, giving the company a six-month window to complete the sale.

The sum of £53 million means Meta Platforms has recuperated just 13 per cent of the cash it outlaid for the acquisition.