By Ian Walker
The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Friday it has accepted a proposal from Heineken Holding N.V. (>> Heineken Holding) to sell a number of pubs, and therefore won't refer the Dutch brewer's merger with Punch Taverns PLC (>> Punch Taverns plc) for further investigation.
Last June the U.K. regulator said Heineken's proposed acquisition of part of the Punch Taverns estate could reduce competition in 33 local areas across Britain, and sought remedies to address its concerns.
Heineken 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 CMA said it is satisfied that its concerns have been addressed and has therefore decided that the merger won't be referred for an in-depth phase-two investigation.
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