igamingnext photo
The proposed merger of Spreadex and Sporting Index will face an in-depth probe by the UK’s competition regulator.

French lottery giant Française des Jeux sold spread betting operator Sporting Index to its rival Spreadex in November 2023 for an undisclosed sum.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) then launched an inquiry into the merger in February 2024.

The CMA concluded in early April that the deal may have created a monopoly by removing the market’s only other licensed spread betting provider.

Spreadex and Sporting Index told the regulator that other fixed-odds providers would constrain them after the merger.

This, the CMA said, was not something it had received sufficient evidence for.

The competition regulator decided in early April it would refer Spreadex for an in-depth investigation unless it was able to offer evidence to allay the market’s concerns.

It questioned whether the deal might lead to a “substantial lessening” of competition in the spread betting market in the UK.

Does the deal give Spreadex a monopoly?

CMA senior director of mergers Naomi Burgoyne said: “We believe that 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.”

The Tom Salmon-led company chose not to submit any material during this period.

The CMA has now launched a phase-two investigation of Spreadex, which will see the agreement face a more in-depth examination its effects on the UK spread betting market.

The inquiry has 24 weeks from now to conduct its phase-two analysis and prepare its final report.

The regulator said it would publish the administrative timetable of the process as soon is practical.

This typically takes place after those involved have had an opportunity to comment on it.

Once this is done, there will be an initial request for information, involving several in-depth questionnaires. The course of the inquiry will also involve a site visit and hearings.

Similar posts