The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has allowed the £780m Carlsberg and Marston’s merger.
The CMA said Marston’s owns many pubs across the UK, which could choose to serve more Carlsberg products, and fewer independent brands.
“The CMA found, however, that Marston’s pubs form only a small part of the potential UK customer base for brewers, and that independent brewers would continue to have sufficient access to pubs after the merger, allowing them to compete effectively,” it said in a statement.
Shore Capital analyst Greg Johnson said, “Although, given the enlarged entity would command around 14% of the UK beer market, we expected the merger to be cleared, it is a positive development, unlocking the £239 million initial cash payment to Marston’s.”
Marston’s said, “We are pleased to report that the Competition and Markets Authority have cleared the proposed joint venture, and the antitrust condition to completion has now been satisfied.
“The transaction will now complete at the end of October 2020.”