Tuesday 17 September 2019

Experian 'disappointed' as UK watchdog warns of competition concerns from proposed acquisition

Brian Cassin, chief executive of Experian
Brian Cassin, chief executive of Experian
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Dublin-based information services group Experian has said it is "disappointed" by the findings from the UK competition watchdog of a probe into it’s proposed acquisition of Clearscore.

The watchdog said the acquisition could reduce competition.

"The merger significantly increases Experian’s downstream presence in credit comparison platforms (CCPs), potentially giving it a greater incentive to worsen rival CCPs’ competitive positions," the watchdog said.

It is 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.

In a statement Experian said it continues to "strongly believe" the acquisition of Clearscore will have a "positive impact" on competition, "allowing Experian to help more consumers with their finances by providing greater choice and convenience to them to access personal finance products at the best prices."

The company added that it will continue to engage with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the coming weeks to address its concerns ahead of publication of the CMA's final report early next year.

Experian's acquisition of Clearscore was first announced in March, valuing the three-year-old company at £275m (€310m).

(Additional reporting PA)

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