Wednesday August 31,2011 : Is there the potential for a "substantial lessening of competition?"
 
If you thought you had heard the last of the sale of the UK state gambling organisation the Tote, think again – according to news agency reports the GBP 265 million sale of the firm to UK bookie Betfred is under the microscope of the Office of Fair Trading.
 
The OFT is reportedly examining the sale and considering whether it is likely to result in a "substantial lessening of competition".  The concern is that the impact of an increase to 1,350 shops in Betfred's retail betting portfolio could skew the competitive nature of the overall UK market.
 
It is understood that the Tote's monopoly on pool betting at 60 UK racecourses and online and 517 high street shops, is thought to have the potential to make a significant difference in market balance.
 
The Competition Commission will have to step in, possibly nixing the deal, if the OFT finding is against the Betfred acquisition.