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UK’s CMA Raises Concerns Over Spreadex-Sporting Index Acquisition

 |  April 4, 2024

Britain’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has voiced concerns over Spreadex’s completed acquisition of Sporting Index’s consumer-facing arm, highlighting potential competition issues in the sports betting market. The CMA has granted both parties time to propose solutions before further intensifying its investigation.

Spreadex, a prominent player in financial spread betting and casino betting, acquired the ‘business to consumer’ arm of Sporting Index from Sporting Group Holding Ltd last year. Both companies offer online fixed odds betting services and online sports spread betting services to customers in the UK, according to Reuters.

The CMA’s initial phase 1 probe, which focused on the online sports spread betting sector, revealed potential monopolistic outcomes stemming from the acquisition. The watchdog highlighted that the deal could eliminate competition by removing the only other licensed UK sports spread betting services provider from the market.

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Spreadex and Sporting Index purported that their operations would still face competition from fixed odds betting providers post-merger. However, the CMA stated that insufficient evidence was provided to support this assertion.

As a response to the concerns raised, both Spreadex and Sporting Index have been given a five-day window to present meaningful solutions to the competition issues identified. Failure to provide satisfactory remedies within this timeframe could lead to a more in-depth phase 2 investigation into the acquisition.

Source: Reuters