Government gives green light to energy merger
The CMA has decided that the proposed merger between SSE and Npower can proceed, following a thorough review.
The decision comes after clearance from the inquiry group of independent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) panel members, who investigated how the merger would affect householders. The group specifically examined competition concerns around how the deal would impact ‘standard variable tariff’ prices.
Following a period of consultation, the CMA has decided to clear the merger after finding that SSE and Npower are not close rivals for customers on these tariffs.
Anne Lambert, Chair of the Inquiry Group, said:
"With many energy companies out there, people switching away from expensive standard variable tariffs will still have plenty of choice when they shop around after this merger.
"But we know that the energy market still isn’t working well for many people who don’t switch, so we looked carefully at how the merger would affect SVT prices. Following a thorough investigation and consultation, we are confident that SSE and Npower are not close rivals for these customers and so the deal will not change how they set SVT prices.
"The CMA found that the number of people switching energy provider is the highest in a decade and the proportion on SVTs has fallen, with customers usually switching to a cheaper, non-SVT, tariff.
However, as those who do not switch are usually on one of the large energy suppliers’ already expensive SVTs, the CMA carefully examined whether the merger would change how larger suppliers set these prices."Published: by Radio NewsHub