SSE in talks with regulator over deal with Npower

SSE in talks with regulator over deal with Npower

SSE has said it is in early negotiations with the competition watchdog over the proposed merger with its rival Npower.

Towards the end of last year, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee urged the UK’s monopoly watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to investigate the planned merger between SSE and Npower, due to the negative effect it could have on consumers by reducing competition.

On Wednesday, SSE said it had engaged in “pre-notification discussions” with the watchdog.

The industry faces uncertainty with new legislation proposed that would introduce a price cap for the most expensive types of electricity and gas bills, which would be the most significant case of state intervention in the market since privatisation 30 years ago.

The cap would be imposed on “standard variable tariffs”, which are the most common in the market, making up 15 million of the 27 million households in Britain and 71% of SSE’s customer base.

Despite this, SSE remained confident that it would reward shareholders through increased dividends that “at least keeps pace with RPI inflation”.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive, said in a statement: “The energy sector continues to present a number of complex challenges to manage but, throughout this financial year, we have kept our focus on delivering the best possible service for our…customers.”

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