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CMA: Heineken's proposals might remedy competition concerns

Staff Writer |
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said there are reasonable grounds to believe that proposals put forward by Heineken might remedy competition concerns over its proposed purchase of London-listed pub operator Punch Taverns' estate.

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"As part of an initial investigation, the CMA looked in detail at areas where pubs operated by Heineken and Punch currently compete.

"It has identified 33 local areas where their pubs would not face sufficient competition after the merger, which could lead to price increases or deterioration in the quality of the service on offer."

Before the merger was referred for a further in-depth investigation, both companies were given the opportunity to offer proposals to address competition concerns.

The Dutch brewer has now offered to sell pubs in each of the affected areas to preserve competition and ensure customers in these locations don't lose out.

The watchdog has now said that the offer - or a modified version of it - could be acceptable and it will consider whether to accept these undertakings.

If they are not accepted, the merger will be referred for an in-depth probe.

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