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Experian’s purchase of ClearScore referred for full competition investigation

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  • 31/07/2018
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Experian’s purchase of ClearScore referred for full competition investigation
Experian’s proposed purchase of ClearScore has been referred by the competition regulator for an in-depth merger investigation.

 

The pair of firms provide credit-score checking services which allow people to understand their finances, and choose loans and credit cards online.

Their ratings are also commonly used when lenders are underwriting borrowers’ risk.

Earlier this month ClearScore revealed it was planning an Open Banking-based service which would prompt customers to switch their mortgage by combining their credit report with current account data.

Late last year, Experian took a step into the mortgage broker market by purchasing a 25% stake in London & Country, prompting questions about how it would maximise these two services.

 

Big two

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that Experian and ClearScore are the two largest credit checking firms and each other’s main competitors.

Its initial investigation identified concerns that the merged company would be less likely to innovate to help people better understand their finances, potentially leading to people paying more for credit cards and loans.

Earlier this month the regulator said it would refer the deal for an in-depth investigation unless Experian offered acceptable ways to address the CMA’s competition concerns.

The CMA said Experian had chosen not to offer proposals to address concerns raised and so the merger will now be referred for an in-depth investigation by an independent group of CMA panel members.

The deadline for the final decision is 14 January 2019.

 

 

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