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Ofgem wants tougher rules on mergers and acquisitions

Energy regulator wants to restrict mergers between energy companies

01 June 2010

Ofgem has announced plans to amend legislation which will restrict mergers between energy companies.

The British energy regulator claims that while some mergers may benefit customers, more mergers would result in less competition.

Ofgem would therefore have a difficult task of forcing a small pool of companies to improve customer service and efficiency.

"Ofgem supports legislative change to require the merger authorities to take this factor into account when assessing mergers, as is the case in the water sector," said a statement from the organisation.

The regulator claimed that it would not limit allowed revenues by a pre-set amount following a merger, as it would instead set rates for companies to share cost savings with customers.

The new policy could affect the proposed sale of EDF's distribution network to one of its rivals. The firm are currently considering a number of bids.

One of the bidders, Scottish and Southern Electric, claim that the purchase will be more than expected following the new legislation.

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