Ladbrokes, Coral Group seek to fast track regulatory approval of merger

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today announced an invitation to comment on the proposed merger of gaming and betting provider Ladbrokes PLC (LON:LAD) and certain businesses of Gala Coral Group Limited, including Coral Retail, Eurobet Retail and Gala Coral’s online businesses.

As usual, the CMA is considering whether this transaction will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK.

The CMA said in its announcement today that it has received a request from the parties to the transaction for a fast track reference to Phase 2, in accordance with paragraphs 6.61 to 6.65 of the Guidance on the CMA’s jurisdiction and procedure dated January 2014.

The CMA will check whether the criteria for a fast track reference, as set out in the Guidance, are satisfied and, to assist it with this assessment, the CMA invites comments on the request from any interested party. These comments should be provided before January 4, 2016.

The statutory deadline for a decision is February 15, 2016, but a decision will be announced earlier if the fast track request is accepted.

To view the official announcement from the CMA, click here.

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