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Bwin, PartyGaming to merge in summer - report

VIENNA, April 16 (Reuters) - Online gambling groups PartyGaming PRTY.L and Bwin BWIN.VI, long the subject of merger speculation, will complete a deal this summer, an Austrian magazine reported on Friday without citing sources.

“The merger should be wrapped up this summer,” Format magazine said, adding that talks had entered an “intensive phase.”

Bwin was not immediately available for comment.

In December, Bwin denied a British newspaper report that it was in advanced merger talks with PartyGaming, and said it was not in such talks with any other partners. Bwin also said at the time it expected more sector consolidation.

“We will not comment on market speculation,” a PartyGaming spokesman said on Friday.

PartyGaming said last month it remained in talks over potential deal opportunities in a sector which analysts say is fragmented and rife for consolidation.

Reporting by Sylvia Westall in Vienna and Matt Scuffham in London; Editing by Erica Billingham

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