Experian abandons Clearscore takeover amid competition concerns

Experian has scrapped its plans to acquire rival credit-checker Clearscore due to opposition from the competition regulator.

The company said it has abandoned the merger as it believes the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will not approve it on “satisfactory terms”.

The CMA published provisional findings on the proposed deal in November, saying it could hurt competition in the credit comparison and checking markets.

It was feared that a combination of the two companies could reduce their incentives to innovate or reduce prices, leading consumers to pay more for credit cards and loans.

A final decision had been due by March 11, almost exactly a year after the £275 million acquisition was announced.

Clearscore was founded in 2015 and has around six million users. Its sale to FTSE 100 company Experian had been expected to provide a significant return to its investors.

However shareholders in both companies have now decided to walk away from the transaction.

In a statement to the market on Wednesday, Experian said: “Our goal is to help more consumers with their finances by providing greater choice and convenience to them to access personal finance products at the best prices.

“Over the next year we plan to bring exciting new innovations to market which will help consumers address their needs across their financial lives, while also investing in new areas to further broaden our offering.”

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