GVC’s £4bn Ladbrokes takeover gets go-ahead from competition watchdog

The betting companies announced they were in talks about a deal in December last year

Caitlin Morrison
Wednesday 21 March 2018 10:00
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Ladbrokes Coral and GVC are nearing the finish line with their £4bn deal
Ladbrokes Coral and GVC are nearing the finish line with their £4bn deal

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved GVC’s £4bn takeover of Ladbrokes Coral.

The watchdog opened an investigation into the proposed deal in February, to assess whether a tie-up between the two betting companies would be lead to less competition in the market.

On Wednesday, the CMA said it had “found that the merger does not give rise to competition concerns”.

“GVC and Ladbrokes are not close rivals and there are many other providers of betting and gaming services online,” the CMA said.

The CMA added that it “looked closely at betting services for individual sports and individual games but found that, in all cases, there will be enough rivals to the merged entity to prevent price increases or a reduced quality of service as a result of the merger”.

Shares in both companies edged up in early trading.

GVC, which owns online betting brands bwin, sportingbet and Foxy Bingo, and Ladbrokes Coral first announced they were in talks about a potential merger in December.

Ladbrokes Coral was formed out of a £2bn deal between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral, which completed in November 2016.

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