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UK: Regulator to decide on Ladbrokes Coral merger

 |  May 16, 2016

The fate of the £2.3bn merger of Ladbrokes and Coral will be decided this week, with the competition regulator expected to rule that the bookmakers must sell a swathe of shops for the deal to go through.

Industry sources expect the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to publish its long-awaited provisional report into the deal by Friday.

They believe the CMA, which has been undertaking an in-depth investigation of the merger, will say the bookies should offload between 400 and 500 locations to satisfy concerns about competition. The tie-up would create the country’s biggest bookie, with Ladbrokes Coral, having about 4,000 sites before any disposals.

It is understood that initial estimates by the CMA encompassed a broad range either side of the 500-shop mark. However, those forecasts were drawn up some weeks ago and will have been narrowed. The CMA was initially set to release its provisional findings last month. It could say the merger should be blocked altogether, but that is thought to be unlikely.

Full Content: Telegraph

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