Figma has officially called off its merger with Adobe, as announced by Dylan Field, Figma's CEO. This decision has evoked diverse reactions within the design community, particularly on Figma's LinkedIn account, ranging from relief to speculation surrounding Adobe's motivations.
The acquisition was initially announced on September 15, 2022, seeing as a positive change for both sides. In 2023 U.K. regulators (CMA) stalled the acquisition and awaited a response from Figma by 19 December. As for today, on the 18 of December 2023, the companies mutually abandon the merge, saying they “no longer see a path toward regulatory approval”.
While lately Figma expands rapidly, launching more and more features, Adobe seems to adopt a more conservative approach, with some designers noting that "their main product line lacks innovation." The extended decision-making process is attributed to Adobe's perceived sluggishness and resistance to innovation, with Twitter users humorously suggesting, "the real reason it took Adobe 15 months to decide not to buy Figma is because that's how long it took them to open up Acrobat Reader to check out the contract."
Despite Adobe's CEO positioning Figma as an "adjacency," many users consider Figma a direct competitor. Figma dominates in product, web, UX, and UI spaces, with FigJam emerging as a potent rival to Miro. The termination of the acquisition ensures Figma's autonomy, enabling the company to sustain its rapid pace of innovation and user-centric design. As part of the deal's termination, Figma is set to receive a $1 billion reverse termination fee from Adobe. This unexpected financial boost could potentially lead to new initiatives, acquisitions, or expansions within Figma.
As an accessible tool that empowers everyone to create, the design community will undoubtedly welcome and celebrate Figma's independence.