Thursday, 26 April 2018

Household energy suppliers SSE merger with npower could 'lead to higher prices'

The proposed merger between household energy suppliers SSE and npower is feeling the heat from competition regulators.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Thursday it would refer the deal for an in-depth investigation, unless the firms offered remedies to address its concerns that the tie-up could force up bills for some customers.

It gave them until 3 May to offer such measures.

The merger, first announced last November, would see the household supply businesses operated by SSE and npower join forces - reducing the industry's dominant "big six" firms to a "big five".

The CMA said on Thursday its initial Phase 1 investigation had found the rivalry between the large energy companies, including SSE and npower, is an important factor in how they set tariffs.

"The removal of such competition could therefore lead to higher prices for some customers," it said.

CMA senior director Rachel Merelie added: "We know that competition in the energy market does not work as well as it might.

"However, competition between energy companies gives them a reason to keep prices down.

"We have found that the proposed merger between SSE Retail and npower could reduce this competition, and so lead to higher prices for some customers.
"We therefore believe that this merger warrants further in-depth scrutiny."

SKY      News.

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