The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has provisionally found that the proposed merger between SSE Retail (SSE) and Npower does not raise competition concerns.
An inquiry group of independent CMA panel members has investigated how the merger would affect householders, following initial concerns about the potential impact on ‘standard variable tariffs’ (SVTs) – the most common and expensive energy tariff. As part of its in-depth review, the inquiry group has provisionally decided to clear the deal after finding that SSE and Npower do not compete closely on SVT prices. Full article
So the Big 6 become the Big 5, at least in the domestic market for now. At a time when large energy suppliers are said to be abusing their position in their treatment of domestic customers, it seems odd that the Competition and Markets Authority have only given the go-ahead for a merger between Scottish and Southern and Npower’s retail businesses on the basis of the potential impact on domestic consumers.
For commercial and industrial energy buyers in the UK, should this merger be a portent for more there may be a reduction in the available choice of suppliers and TEC will see a reduction in competition for our future frameworks. In the meantime, domestic energy suppliers will bear the brunt of continued increases in prices ahead of the introduction of the Government’s much publicised “price cap”, which will be introduced at a time when energy prices are at a 3 year high. Funny that!
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