Green light for gaming merger

16-01-2008

Green light for gaming merger
Britain's merger regulator has given its clearance to the acquisition of Gamestation by one of its biggest rivals.

In May last year European computer gaming firm Game bought the Gamestation portfolio for £74 million from video and DVD rental firm Blockbuster.

With more than 200 stores in the UK, Gamestation is one of the biggest computer-game retailers in the country and the acquisition raised questions about the power Game would be able to wield on the high street.

But in its ruling today the Competition Commission (CC) has given it the green light.

In a statement the commission said it had concluded that the merger "may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the markets for the supply of gaming software, consoles and related accessories in the UK".

On coming to the decision, two members of the group examining the merger expressed concern about it in relation "to the trade-in and sale of pre-owned gaming software".

That meant the commission was split two-to-two and led to the chairman casting a deciding vote to clear the acquisition as a two-thirds majority is required.

Game yesterday revealed a predicted increase of £3 million in its pre-tax full-year profits forecast to £73 million but said it anticipated a slowdown in like-for-like sales this year.

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