ADOBE’s planned $20bn acquisition of cloud-based designer platform Figma is at risk of being blocked as EU watchdogs prepare to launch a formal probe into the deal. 

The software giant’s proposed bid is set to be scrutinised in an in-depth investigation to prepare potential anti-competition concerns, the Financial Times reported. 

The investigation could take several months and has the potential to completely collapse the Adobe-Figma deal, according to the publication. 

The merger, if successful, would be one of the largest acquisitions of a private tech start-up in history.

The planned EU probe follows both the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and US regulators, who announced it was investigating the deal earlier this year. 

US-based Figma is a cloud-based design platform that allows multiple UX/UI designers to collaborate on projects live. Some regulators have criticised the deal as a “killer acquisition” due to Figma being a direct competitor to Adobe.

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By GlobalData

However, Adobe claims its buyout of Figma will not harm competition as it is not a direct competitor to any of its mainline products.

Talking to CNBC, an Adobe spokesperson said: “Adobe and Figma focus on very different product areas today. Figma is a leader in interactive product design, focused on building a collaborative web platform. Adobe is a leader in the creative tools space, helping millions of users create amazing visual content”

Global regulators investigating the potential bid highlight the concerns of competition being affected by large corporations buying up smaller rivals.

Adobe is currently in the early stages of the regulatory process, holding regular discussions with EU, US and UK regulators.

US-based Adobe's planned buyout of cloud platform Figma follows a dramatic decline in cloud technology last year.

In 2022, investment in the cloud totalled $125bn, a substantial fall from 2021 which hit a record peak of $183bn.

Total cloud investment last year also fell below that of 2019, which stood at $132bn.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.