UK: Npower-SSE merger approved

The UK’s competition watchdog has provisionally given the green light to the merger of Npower and the retail arm of SSE, removing the final hurdle to the biggest shakeup of the energy sector in years.

An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the two firms did not compete closely for customers on default tariffs which most people are on. Few people switched between the pair, it added.

The CMA stated it had decided to clear the deal after finding that SSE and Npower do not compete closely on standard variable tariff (SVT) prices.

Anne Lambert, chair of the inquiry group, said, “It is vital that householders have a range of energy suppliers to choose from so they can find the best deal for them. With more than 70 energy companies out there, we have found that there is plenty of choice when people shop around.

“But many people don’t shop around for their energy. So we carefully scrutinised this deal, in particular how it would impact people who pay the more expensive standard variable prices.

“Our analysis shows that the merger will not impact how SSE and Npower set their SVT prices because they are not close rivals for these customers.”

Full Content: Independent

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