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Hasbro's takeover of Entertainment One hit by CMA probe

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether the deal might result in a "substantial lessening of competition"

Entertainment One -

Entertainment One PLC's (LON:ETO) agreed £3.3bn takeover by Hasbro Inc (NASDAQ:HAS) could be held up by an investigation by the UK antitrust watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Thursday that it was considering whether the deal, which was agreed for a cash price of 560p per share in August but has not yet completed, might result in a "substantial lessening of competition".

Inviting interested parties to comment, the CMA set a deadline of 21 January 2020 for it to decide whether or not it will refer the merger for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

As an independent TV producer, eOne is best known for its ownership of the Peppa Pig brand, but also produces adult TV series such as 'Designated Survivor' and 'The Rookie', and is a film producer and recently moved into music publishing and artist management.

Hasbro, for its part, makes toys under licence for Disney and Marvel, as well as franchises such as Transformers, Power Rangers, Play-Doh and the Monopoly board game.

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