UK orders probe into SSE-Npower energy merger
British competition authorities on Tuesday referred the proposed merger of domestic energy providers SSE and Npower for an in-depth probe, citing concerns it could force up prices for some households.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a statement that it has decided to open a so-called Phase 2 investigation.
The antitrust watchdog added that its preliminary assessment had “found that the deal could reduce competition, potentially leading to higher prices for some bill payers”.
It added: “SSE and Npower did not offer measures to address the CMA’s concerns.”
A decision on the merger will now be made by a group of independent panel members, with a deadline for their final report of October 22.
Back in November 2017, SSE and Npower had unveiled a tie-up that would create the largest supplier of electricity to UK customers and second biggest of gas.
SSE, Britain’s number two energy supplier, had said it would spin off its household energy and services business and combine it with Npower, the British arm of Germany’s Innogy.
As of the end of September, the two businesses provided energy and related services to about 11.5 million UK customer accounts.