Deal is Off
By Marianne Lambert
Ladbrokes and have announced there will be no merger between the two companies, having decided not to go ahead with a potential deal which looked likely when talks began last October.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which has criminalised companies catering for the online gambling market in the US, was cited as one of the reasons for the dealís cancellation. This is despite 888.comís diversification into the European market, to compensate for the loss of its major customer base.

In response to the announcement, shares in dropped more than 5.7 percent, and it is also public knowledge that Morgan Stanley responded to the retreat by selling £4.7 million worth of shares. Ladbrokes shares were trading up following the public statement.

Despite the set-back, will continue to follow their plans for expansion into the European market and directors are said to remain confident.

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