Spreadex-Sporting Index merger under investigation by the CMA

Spreadex’s acquisition of fellow spread betting company Sporting Index has been referred to an in-depth investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). 

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In November of last year, Spreadex acquired Sporting Index from Sporting Group Holding Limited, which is a subsidiary of Française des Jeux (FDJ). 

Concerns had been raised earlier this month by the CMA about the deal, with Spreadex and Sporting Index being the only licensed providers in the UK within the online sports spread betting market. 

The CMA, which is the principal competition regulator in the UK, found that the deal may have created a monopoly because it removed the only other licensed UK sports spread betting provider, lessening the competition within the market. 

During the initial concerns, Phase 1 decision maker for this case at the CMA, Naomi Burgoyne, had said: “We believe this deal could remove competition for sports spread betting services and give Spreadex a monopoly in this market. It is important that customers can rely on competition in the market to keep odds competitive.” 

This information came from the CMA’s Phase 1 investigation with the regulator giving Spreadex five working days to resolve concerns before it was moved forward for a more in-depth investigation. 

As such, a Phase 2 investigation has come about today after Spreadex had informed the CMA that it would not be offering any undertakings surrounding concerns raised by the regulator. 

The CMA has said it will be publishing “the administrative timetable as soon as is practical.” 

In other legal news today, the House of Representatives in the Netherlands has voted on several motions this week related to gambling, one of which included the adoption of a ban on online gambling advertising in the country. 

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