The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to refer the Experian  ClearScore merger deal for an in-depth investigation citing competition concerns.

In March, Ireland-headquartered consumer credit reporting agency Experian signed an agreement to acquire rival ClearScore for £275m.

Both companies are involved in assisting people in understanding their finances, select loans and credit cards online.

During the initial investigation, the CMA found that both firms are each other’s main competitor. There is concern that the merged entity is less likely to innovate, resulting in consumers paying more for their services.

Accordingly, the CMA  has referred the deal for an in-depth (phase 2) investigation after Experian chose not to offer proposals to address these concerns.

The in-depth investigation will be carried out by an independent group of CMA panel members, with the final decision expected to be announced by mid January next year.

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By GlobalData

While announcing the acquisition, Experian CEO Brian Cassin said: “In acquiring ClearScore, we will take another important step in our strategy to extend the services we provide to UK consumers.

“Our goal is to provide more choice and greater convenience to individuals who want access to personal financial products at the best prices, while also making it easier for credit providers to offer better, more tailored offers to consumers.”