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Sci Games/WMS Merger Cleared

The Federal Trade Commission has waived the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR) to clear the way for the acquisition of slot manufacturer WMS Industries by lottery industry giant Scientific Games.

The clearance allows the $1.5 billion transaction to move to the next phase, which is approval by the shareholders of both companies.

The HSR requires merging companies to file detailed reports with the FTC and the Justice Department to see whether the combination violates antitrust laws. There is a 30-day waiting period (15 days for all-cash transactions) before the merger can be completed. The companies can request the waiting period be terminated early, which will be granted if both antitrust agencies complete their reviews and determine no enforcement action is necessary.

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