The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is considering Heineken’s proposals to sell pubs in certain areas to preserve competition, has suggested the remedy “might be acceptable”.

Earlier this month, the CMA said that Heineken’s proposed purchase of part of the Punch Tavern estate could reduce competition in 33 local areas across Britain.

Before the merger was referred for a further in-depth investigation, the companies were given the opportunity to offer proposals to address these concerns.

Heineken has now offered to sell pubs in each of the affected areas to preserve competition and ensure customers in these locations do not lose out.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the CMA said it had decided that there are reasonable grounds for believing that these proposals, or a modified version of them, might be acceptable to remedy the competition concerns it has identified.

As part of an initial investigation, the CMA looked at areas where pubs operated by Heineken and Punch compete and identified 33 local areas where their pubs would not face sufficient competition after the merger, which could lead to price increases or a deterioration in the quality of the service on offer.

The CMA has until 22 August 2017 to consider whether to accept the undertakings, although it may decide to extend this deadline to 17 October if it decides that there are special reasons for doing so.

As part of its process, the CMA will undertake a public consultation.

If the CMA does not accept the undertakings proposed, the merger will be referred for an in-depth investigation.

A spokesperson for Heineken said, “We welcome confirmation from the CMA that only a small number of pubs are required to be sold. It’s a sensible outcome and good news for pub-goers across the UK who will see the benefit of well invested pubs in their communities.”