The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is considering whether Admiral Taverns' acquisition of 869 pubs from Punch Taverns in April will require an investigation by the Competition Commission.
The OFT will look at whether the buy will result in a substantial lessoning of competition in the pub market.
Admiral became the third largest pub operator after the acquisition of the Punch estate with a portfolio of 2,700 pubs. The deadline for comment on the proposal is 4 June.
By Christopher Walton
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