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Npower-SSE merger ‘could see bills rise’

A MERGER between energy providers Npower and SSE could lead to higher prices for customers, the competition watchdog has warned.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the deal would face an in-depth inquiry unless the companies address competition concerns.

Rachel Merelie, senior director at the CMA, said less competition in the energy market could ‘lead to higher prices’ and has given the firms until May 3 to address concerns.

But SSE ‘remains confident’ a deal will ‘deliver benefits for customers and the energy market as a whole’.

And Mark Todd, of comparison site energyhelpline, believes a tie-up will lead to a cheaper, better service for millions of Npower customers.

‘SSE currently offers lower prices and much better service standards than Npower, so there is no reason to suppose they will be getting a raw deal,’ he said. A merger will also create a ‘strong British supplier capable of expanding internationally and innovating at home’, he added.