Press release

CMA publishes issues statement in Ladbrokes/Coral merger

The CMA has published the issues statement as part of its investigation into the anticipated merger between Ladbrokes and certain businesses of Coral.

Race horses.

The merger was referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation on 11 January 2016.

Ladbrokes and Coral supply betting and gaming products in their extensive network of stores, as well as online, by telephone and at certain racecourses. Ladbrokes and Coral also operate 2 greyhound tracks each in the UK.

The independent inquiry group of Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) panel members must decide whether the merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK. The deadline for the inquiry group to report is 24 June 2016.

The issues statement identifies the key questions that the inquiry is examining and also sets out areas the CMA panel members do not currently propose to investigate in more detail. The CMA welcomes submissions by interested third parties on the questions set out in the issues statement as well as any other potential issues relating to the potential competitive impact of the merger on competition. The issues statement does not imply that the inquiry group has, at this stage, identified any competition concerns. It is available on the case page along with all other published information relating to the inquiry.

Anyone wishing to respond to the issues statement should do so in writing, by no later than 5pm on 18 February 2016. Please email or write to:

Project Manager
Ladbrokes/Coral merger inquiry
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.
  2. The Ladbokes/Coral inquiry group consists of Martin Cave (Inquiry Chair), John Harley, Andrew Popham and Gavin Robert.
  3. All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by independent inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s panel members. The appointed inquiry group are the decision-makers on phase 2 inquiries.
  4. The CMA’s panel members come from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, law, accountancy and/or business; the membership of an inquiry group usually reflects a mix of expertise and experience (including industry experience).
  5. The deadline for the publication of the CMA’s report – 24 June 2016 – may be extended by no more than 8 weeks if the CMA considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be published by that date.
  6. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on mergers cases.
  7. Enquiries should be directed to Siobhan Allen (, 020 3738 6460) or Rory Taylor (, 020 3738 6798).
Published 4 February 2016