CMA set for ‘fast track’ investigation of Ladbrokes-Coral merger

ladbrokesimageThe UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that it may carry out a ‘fast track’ investigation of the proposed merger between rival bookmakers Ladbrokes and Gala Coral.

The regulatory body yesterday (Wednesday) opened its investigation into the effects on market competition should the deal go ahead.

Although the process normally takes 40 days to complete, the CMA revealed that it has received a request from both bookmakers for a fast track reference to the second phase of the investigation.

Mergers that features a company worth over £70 million (€96.4 million/$10.5 million), or if the combined business controls 25% of the market, must undergo a phase two investigation.

“Under the fast track reference procedure, the CMA’s investigation timetable is significantly shortened,” the CMA said in a statement.

The regulator also said that should it go ahead with a fast track investigation, it “would expect to issue its phase one decision within the next 15 working days”.

The CMA opted to use the fast track process during a recent investigation into the merger between telecommunications brands BT and EE.

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