The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has given provisional clearance for the merger of SSE’s retail business with that of Npower.

The watchdog said that the deal wouldn’t affect competition.

Anne Lambert, Chair of the CMA’s inquiry group, said: “It is vital that householders have a range of energy suppliers to choose from, so they can find the best deal for them.

“With more than 70 energy companies out there, we have found that there is plenty of choice when people shop around.”

On track on complete

The two companies said the provisional decision meant the merger was on track to complete by early next year. It will create a new stock market-listed company.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: "Following a thorough and in-depth investigation, we are pleased the CMA has provisionally concluded the proposed merger of SSE Energy Services and npower does not raise competition concerns.

"The scale and pace of change in the GB energy market continues to be significant and requires us to evolve to stay relevant, competitive and sustainable.

"The planned transaction presents a great opportunity to create a more agile, innovative and efficient company that really delivers for customers and the energy market as a whole."

> Read the CMA's announcement