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Best of Liz Benston

Gaming Guru

Liz Benston
 

Harrah's, Caesars Say They Are Complying With FTC Requests

19 January 2005

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and Caesars Entertainment Inc. said today they are in "substantial compliance" with requests from the Federal Trade Commission for information about their proposed merger.

Last July, Harrah's announced plans to acquire rival Caesars for $9.4 billion, creating the world's largest casino company. The transaction is expected to be complete in the second quarter pending regulatory approvals.

Harrah's spokesman Gary Thompson said the company hopes the transaction will close in May.

In a joint statement, the companies said they "certified they have provided substantially all the information still being requested by the FTC."

FTC spokesman Mitch Katz declined to discuss the transaction.

In general, companies that have certified compliance with FTC requests trigger a 30-day review period for regulators to approve the transaction, Katz said. The agency could also delay the process by asking for more information, however, he said.

State regulators in states where both companies operate casinos also must sign off on the deal.

Thompson said the timeline for regulatory approval in Nevada will depend on the FTC.

"There is a policy in nevada that they will not put it on the agenda until after the FTC has acted," he said.

The companies in August disclosed that they had received a second request for information from the FTC on the buyout.

Separately, MGM Mirage's proposed $7.9 billion acquisition of Mandalay Resort Group is expected to be completed by the first quarter.

A month after the deal was announced, the companies disclosed in July that they had received a second request for information from the FTC. The companies said in November they had complied with substantially all the information requested by the FTC.

The agency, in addition to state regulators, has not yet approved the merger.

MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company hasn't received any formal notification from Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission about when the deal could be considered.

"We are confident we'll be able to be in front of the Board and Commission in February," Feldman said.

Harrah's, Caesars Say They Are Complying With FTC Requests is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.