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Diageo PLC offers to sell Whyte & Mackay to address concerns regarding United Spirits Ltd acquisition-Office of Fair Trading


Monday, 25 Nov 2013 06:00am EST 

Diageo PLC:Offers to sell most of its Whyte & Mackay business to address competition concerns regarding bottled blended Scotch whisky, arising from its completed acquisition of United Spirits Ltd (United Spirits)-Office of Fair Trading.The OFT's investigation found that there is substantial competition in the retail sector between Bell's whisky, a Diageo label, and Whyte & Mackay's own-label and branded blended whisky.After analysing evidence including data on consumer switching between brands, economic modelling and internal documents, the OFT found the merger may lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of blended whisky to retailers.The OFT found that other manufacturers did not have, and could not quickly reach, sufficient capacity to offset the loss of competition likely to result from the merger.The OFT is considering Diageo's offer to sell the bulk of the Whyte & Mackay business with the exception of two malt distilleries, to address its concerns.While the undertakings in lieu are being considered, the OFT's duty to refer the merger to the Competition Commission is suspended. 

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