A PYMNTS Company

UK: Union warns a merger of SSE and npower could reduce competition

 |  November 16, 2017

A merger of SSE and npower could reduce competition and lead to further energy price hikes, the GMB union has warned. The GMB union has called on business secretary, Greg Clark, to block the proposed merger of SSE and npower Limited.

SSE last week said it had agreed to demerge its household energy and services business and combine it with npower, the UK arm of Germany’s Innogy.

The deal is subject to approval by shareholders and competition regulators in the UK and the European Union. SSE and npower are in discussions with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The GMB told Clark he should use his powers to block the deal if that if the CMA does not investigate.

Justin Bowden, the union’s national secretary for energy, raised concerns that the merger could reduce competition and lead to higher prices. The merger would see the “big six” energy suppliers turn into the “big five”.

“The merger between SSE and npower is a test of…duty [to keep energy secure, cheap and clean] and until there is a settled energy policy, we risk a private cartel if the merger is given approval,” he said.

Full Content: The Guardian

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.