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10.10.2018 10:21
SSE-Npower deal approved by regulatory authority
AUTHOR: publics.bg


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The merger between the retail arm of SSE and Npower will proceed after the UK’s competition authority gave its final approval, the Financial Times reports.

The decision by the Competition and Markets Authority reiterates its earlier findings, when it provisionally cleared the deal in August, after finding the companies did not compete closely on standard variable tariffs (SVTs), the most common and expensive energy tariff.

The merger will reduce the UK’s “Big Six” energy providers to five and had raised concerns that it might undermine competition in an industry where the government and regulator had been working to loosen the grip of the incumbents — especially in relation to SVTs.

But on Wednesday the CMA said SSE and Npower were “not close rivals” for SVT customers and that “the deal will not change how they set SVT prices”.

“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,” said Anne Lambert, chair of the inquiry.

She added: “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 consultation found that while large energy suppliers take account of each other’s SVT changes when choosing the size and timing of their own, SSE and Npower do not pay special attention to each other, meaning they are not close rivals for SVT customers, who instead tend to move to other suppliers

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, welcomed the CMA’s announcement. He said the transaction was “complex” and that there remains “much work to do in the coming weeks and months”.

“However, we’ve always believed that the creation of a new, independent energy and services retailer has potential to deliver real benefits for customers and the market as a whole and it is good to see that the CMA has cleared the transaction following what was a comprehensive and rigorous inquiry,” he added.


TAGS: electricity | trade | UK | competition 


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