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UK competition watchdog clears GVC, Ladbrokes Coral £4B merger

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority cleared online gambling company GVC Holdings PLC's £4 billion takeover of bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC.

The U.K. antitrust regulator said the merger does not raise competition concerns. The commission said that after looking "closely" at betting services for individual sports and games, it found that there will be enough rivals to the merged entity to prevent price hikes or reduced quality of services.

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

GVC, which agreed to acquire Ladbrokes Coral in December 2017, will pay 32.7 pence in cash and 0.141 ordinary GVC share for each Ladbrokes share.