The Competition and Markets Authority (CAM) has announced that the proposed merger between SSE Retail (SSE) and npower can proceed, following a “thorough” review.
The decision comes after a provisional clearance from the inquiry group of independent 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 consultation, the CMA has decided to clear the merger after finding that SSE and npower are not close rivals for customers on these tariffs.
Few people switch between SSE and npower, it said, adding that merger is not expected to have a significant impact on standard variable tariff pricing.
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 standard variable tariff 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 standard variable tariff prices.”