Npower and SSE deal threatens to push up energy bills, watchdog says
The merger between energy giants Npower and SSE could reduce competition and lead to higher prices for some households, according to Britain's competition watchdog.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it would refer the deal for a full-blown investigation unless the two Big Six providers can address its concerns.
Its initial inquiry found the reduction in the number of large players in the UK energy market caused by the merger could impact competition and leave some customers worse off.
Rachel Merelie, senior director at the CMA, said: "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."
She added the deal "warrants further in-depth scrutiny", but said the two firms have until May 3 to offer measures to address the CMA's findings.