Spreadex-Sporting Index merger to face investigation by competition watchdog


Last year, Spreadex acquired the ‘business to consumer’ arm of Sporting Index from Sporting Group Holding Limited (Sporting Group).

Spreadex and Sporting Index provide both online fixed odds betting services and online sports spread betting services to customers based in the UK. Spreadex is also active in financial spread betting and casino betting. 

Sports spread betting involves betting above or below a range of outcomes rather than standard ‘win or lose’ outcomes offered by fixed-odds betting. The more ‘correct’ a customer is, the more money they stand to win, and the more ‘wrong’ they are the more they stand to lose. 

The Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) Phase 1 investigation focused on the online sports spread betting market, where Spreadex and Sporting Index are the only licensed providers in the UK. 

The CMA found that the deal may have created a monopoly by removing the only other licensed UK sports spread betting provider. As part of the investigation, Spreadex and Sporting Index suggested they would be constrained by fixed odds betting providers after the merger, but the CMA has not received sufficient evidence to support this.  

Having assessed the evidence, the CMA believes the merger could substantially lessen competition in the supply of licensed online sports spread betting services in the UK. Without a competitor, the incentive for Spreadex to offer competitive odds for customers could be lost.