Adobe - Figma merger canceled
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Adobe (ADBE) and Figma have canceled the proposed merger following regulatory concerns raised by both U.S. and European regulators who concluded the merger would reduce competition and increase costs to consumers. The proposed merger had involved Adobe paying $20 billion to acquire Figma. The3 two companies will remain independent.
Adobe, best known for its collection of Creative Cloud tools, has been struggling to gain ground in the user experience design space. It’s primary UX application, Experience Design, or XD, is not widely used compared to the prototyping software from Figma. The Figma app is used for designing interfaces for apps, websites, and other products. Designers use Figma tools to define the appearance and interaction that users see when they visit a website or work in a software app.
The termination will cost Adobe $1 billion, which it must pay Figma as a termination fee for not completing the merger. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said both Adobe and Figma disagree with regulators' concerns “but we believe it is in our respective best interests to move forward independently."
Figma remaining independent will likely be better for creative professionals according to Christopher Smith, author of Creative Cloud for Dummies and founder of American Graphics Institute. “Users will continue to have a choice between Figma, Adobe XD, or other prototyping apps. If the merger had been completed, Adobe XD would have been eliminated.” Smith added “Figma is a highly innovative private company. As a public company, Adobe is less in-tune with its customers' needs, as they focus heavily on meeting Wall Street expectations.”
With the acquisition facing objections from both the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority as well as the European Commission, as well as scrutiny from the Department of Justice in the United States, it was unlikely the two companies would be allowed to combine.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, educator and author based in Boston. She has worked in the field of user experience design for more than 15 years.She has designed websites, ecommerce sites, apps, and embedded systems. Jennifer designs solutions for mobile, desktop, and iOT devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors.She has served as a Designer in Residence at Microsoft, assisting third-party app developers to improve their design solutions and create successful user experiences. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with major tech companies to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.
Jennifer is also the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F certification from the User Experience Qualification Board and assists others in attaining this designation in leading a UX certification course at American Graphics Institute. She is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design.