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OFT gives go-ahead to Mortgage Brain and MortgageStream merger

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The Office of Fair Trading has given the go-ahead for Mortgage Brain to acquire MortgageStream.

The OFT announced in January that it was stepping in to investigate the proposed acquisition over fears it could substantially lessen competition in the market.

But a spokesman for the OFT says: “The OFT has decided, on the information currently available to it, not to refer the merger to the Competition Commission under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.”

In December 2011 Mortgage Brain chief executive Mark Lofthouse announced the firm had agreed terms to acquire point-of-sale and case management system provider MortgageStream for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will mean that 13.4 per cent of authorised UK mortgage firms will be using either Mortgage Brain’s Key system or MortgageStream.

Mortgage Brain subsequently informed the OFT of its plans, prompting the watchdog to launch an investigation into whether the deal would lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the market.

It is the second time the OFT has stepped into a planned acquisition by Mortgage Brain.

In May last year Mortgage Brain had to abandon its bid to acquire rival sourcing system TrigoldCrystal after the OFT referred the deal to the Competition Commission, which would have made the deal too costly for Mortgage Brain to pursue.

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