The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a regulating body responsible for strengthening and maintaining business competition throughout the UK, has instigated an inquiry into the merger of two igaming content and solutions providers.
The two companies in question are Evolution Gaming and NetEnt, two of Europe’s few igaming powerhouses. The goal of the regulator’s inquiry is to determine the impact of this mega-deal in the local gambling space. This should not come as a surprise as both companies are heavily ingrained in the UK’s land-based and online casino markets.
Evolution Gaming offered to buy NetEnt in June in a bid to expand its market reach across regulated European markets and as well as in the USA where both providers are seeking to further expand their market penetration and reach. Evolution Gaming offered to purchase NetEnt for SEK19.6 billion (£1.69/ $2.16 billion). This purchase will not only include NetEnt but also its Red Tiger Gaming as NetEnt acquired the Red Tiger late last 2919. Once completed, this merger will create a B2B igaming solutions powerhouse.
The CMA launched its merger inquiry on September 21. It has invited interested parties to take part in the inquiry by submitting their comments by October 5, with its final decision to be revealed on November 16. The regulator published a notice on September 22, explaining that it wants to determine whether the deal will result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for good or services.
Prior to this inquiry, Evolution Gaming laid out the time table for this merger. It initially expected the bid to be accepted on or before October 26 as the offer would expire if the date was exceeded, with November 2 as its finalization. However, with the CMA’s inquiry, the regulator has warned that the deadline of the merger’s acceptance could change at any point during the assessment process as it can be affected by many other reasons. Furthermore, the closure process of the deal could be pushed back if any issues with the merger are found, further delaying the merger’s finalization.
Evolution Gaming has been proven to be a tier-one solutions provider as the company has raked in many awards and recognitions within the year. These include the EGR B2B Awards’ Live Casino Supplier of the Year and as well as the Gaming Intelligence Awards’ Casino Supplier of the Year and Game of the Year for its game Monopoly Live. Furthermore, the provider has seen rapid expansion in the USA through its tie-ups with PointsBet and BetMGM.
As for NetEnt, the company has also strengthened its USA presence through its tie-up with BetMGM. This also comes after its recent moves in the European market as the company has recently upgraded its Malta live gambling studio in partnership with EveryMatrix, in a response to an increase in market demands. The company has also been working hard in the past months through many deals and significant investments. It has also been improving and growing its core live casino game library through the addition of various new games and new game formats.