Ladbrokes / Coral merger inquiry

The CMA investigated the anticipated merger between Ladbrokes plc and certain businesses of Gala Coral Group Limited.

Phase 2

Administrative timetable

Date of referral: 11.1.16

Statutory deadline: 19.8.16 (with 8 week extension)

Contact

ladbrokes.coral@cma.gsi.gov.uk

CMA approves Ladbrokes/Coral merger

26 October 2016: The CMA has approved the sale by Ladbrokes and Coral of 360 licensed betting offices to Betfred, Stan James and Bet21 to resolve the competition concerns it had identified in its final report.

Remedy group appointed

11 October 2016: The CMA has appointed the following panel group members to the Ladbrokes Coral remedy group.

Martin Cave (Inquiry Chair), John Harley, Andrew Popham and Gavin Robert.

Final undertakings

11 October 2016: The CMA has accepted undertakings from Ladbrokes plc and Gala Coral Group Limited to remedy the substantial lessening of competition identified in the final report.

Notice of proposal to accept final undertakings

Undertakings

Amendments/consents granted

Directions to appoint monitoring trustee

29 July 2016: On 26 July, the CMA directed Ladbrokes plc and Gala Coral Group Limited, pursuant to the interim undertakings dated 18 July, to appoint a monitoring trustee.

Final report

Provisional findings

20 May 2016: The CMA has provisionally found that the merger between Ladbrokes and Coral may give rise to competition concerns in a large number of local areas.

Following the CMA’s provisional findings, it has decided to reopen the review of the undertakings given in 1999 by Hilton Group plc (now Ladbrokes plc).

Evidence

The publication of the evidence of any party on the CMA’s webpages does not indicate in any way endorsement by the CMA of the views expressed in the evidence or acceptance of that evidence. Publication in this way is designed to assist public understanding of the issues.

Response hearing summaries

Responses to provisional findings and notice of possible remedies

Hearing summaries

Responses to Ladbrokes/Coral initial submission

Responses to issues statement

Initial submissions

The CMA’s merger inquiry is independent and welcomes submissions from all interested parties.

Analysis

Customer research survey: CMA commissioned research

Issues statement

4 February 2016: The issues statement sets out the scope of the investigation. It outlines initial theories on what might be adversely affecting competition, but it does not set out findings or conclusions.

Inquiry group appointed

11 January 2016: The CMA has appointed the inquiry group.

Martin Cave (Inquiry Chair), John Harley, Andrew Popham and Gavin Robert.

Disclosure of interest

John Harley was a Non-executive Board Member of 24/7 Gaming Group Holdings plc from July 2013 to January 2014. The CMA is satisfied that these matters will not prejudice the ability of the inquiry group to discharge its functions in an independent and impartial manner.

Terms of reference

11 January 2016: The CMA has referred the anticipated merger between Ladbrokes plc and certain businesses of Gala Coral Group Limited for an in-depth phase 2 investigation.

Phase 1

Phase 1 Action
25 January 2016 Decision published
11 January 2016 Decision announced
16 December 2015 Launch of merger inquiry
16 December 2015 to 4 January 2016 Invitation to comment

Reference decision

Launch of merger inquiry

16 December 2015: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.

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