The initial dates were set on September 17; however, during the call, the core developers agreed on roughly two dates for the main upgrades. The consensus so far is that the 144896 epoch for the Bellatrix upgrade would land on September 6, and the Paris upgrade would be completed by September 15.
As discussed on the call, the developers mentioned that the dates are not definitive and can be changed within the coming weeks.
The Merge should occur after the Bellatrix mainnet upgrade before the end of September. Ethereum’s Eth token has already rallied 17.5% in anticipation of the Merge. The upgrade will go as scheduled unless the Ethereum hash rate falls significantly, which would cause lower block times and delay the Merge’s expected time.
The Merge aims to resolve security, scalability, and environmental sustainability. All of these issues have been concerns that have halted Ethereum adoption and the adoption of other cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum network.