UK Competition Watchdog Provisionaly Approves Ladbrokes – Gala Coral Merger
The much talked about merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral has got a major boost as the UK competition watchdog has said the merger could get the green light if they offload 350- 400 high street betting shops. The provisional findings were released by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today and have set the stage for what could become the largest UK bookmaker.
According to the CMA there are around 659 areas where the merger would result in a loss of substantial competition but the offloading of 350-400 betting shops would prevent this. Currently Ladbrokes and Gala Coral operate over 4,000 betting shops together and the proposed cut is a lot less than initially thought.
There is a June 13 deadline that has been imposed by the CMA for the parties to respond to the provisional finding. As expected rival bookmakers William Hill are continuing to oppose the merger while bookmakers like Boylesports and Betfred are amongst the interested parties who are looking at acquiring the betting shops that have to be offloaded The decision on the merger by the CMA is expected to be by August 19 but could already be decided by the end of July.