The Irish Competition Authority (ICA) has confirmed the timescale under which it will consider Heineken's Irish side of its acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle.

Carlsberg and Heineken recently received approval from the European Commission for their purchase of S&N in all EU states with the exception of the Republic of Ireland.

Heineken is awaiting approval from the ICA for the acquisition of S&N's Irish subsidiary, Beamish & Crawford, following anti-trust concerns that it could potentially create a duopoly in the Irish on-trade market with Guinness owner Diageo.

Speaking to just drinks today (4 April), the ICA said that the decision and clearing process could take up to four months in total.

A spokesperson for the ICA confirmed: "Under our act, it is now subject to an initial phase one assessment, which may last up to 30 days, after which time a decision will be made to clear the merger, clear it with conditions or proceed to phase two full investigation, which can last three months."

Last month, the ICA said that the decision to seek a partial referral under the EC Merger Regulation (ECMR) was made because "the conditions set out in article nine of the ECMR were satisfied".

ECMR article nine allows the EU trade body to refer the deal to a national regulator in cases where "concentrations" within an industry threaten to affect competition in the market.