The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it will move on to a Phase Two investigation of the proposed merger between Cengage and McGraw-Hill, after concluding in its first probe that the move could result in higher-priced university textbooks.
The CMA is not expected to conclude the review before September 2020.
In the light of that, and because the US Department of Justice is also reviewing the transaction, as well as antitrust authorities in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, plus the added complication of the Covid-19 pandemic, the merger is now not expected to be completed until October 2020, Cengage said in a statement.
"The parties are continuing to work cooperatively with the CMA, the DOJ and all other antitrust authorities to show that the Merger will not harm competition," the statement said.
"The completion of the Merger is subject to a number of conditions, including, among others, the receipt of approval from governmental entities. No assurance can be given that the required regulatory approvals will be obtained or that the other required conditions to closing will be satisfied; and, even if all such approvals are obtained and such other conditions are satisfied, no assurance can be given as to the terms, conditions and timing of the approvals. Particularly in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is no certainty that traditional timelines for government review and clearances will be maintained. In light of the foregoing, if the Merger is completed, such completion is not expected to be before October 2020."
The merger had initially been planned to go ahead by 1st February 2020 and was later delayed to 1st May.
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