The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that it may probe into the ?275 million takeover of free credit score checking company Clearscore by rival Experian.
The takeover was announced last week, but the CMA are concerned that an enlarged free credit score checking company may be less likely to innovate to help people better understand their finances and therefore reduce competition in the sector.
The main concern is that this could lead to consumers paying more than is necessary for loans and credit cards.
The CMA confirmed that Clearscore and Experian are the largest and second largest providers of free credit score checking in the UK. Clearscore has more than six million members in the UK.
Experian is also the largest paid credit score checking provider.
Currently millions of consumers in the UK use both companies services every year in order to check their credit scores, understand their finances, and choose loans and credit cards online.
The CMA have given the two companies until the end of this week to put forward potential solutions that will alleviate the concerns that the watchdog has. If they fail to do this, they will face a further detailed investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, potentially delaying the takeover.
Experian gained a great many customers last year after rival Equifax suffered a serious breach of customer data whereby nearly 700,000 UK consumers had personal information accessed in the cyber attack at Equifax, including partial credit card details, phone numbers, and driver’s licence numbers.
Enrolments were substantially up at Experian after the Equifax data breach.
Total revenue at Experian rose by nine per cent in the three months to June, boosted by an 11 per cent rise in the UK and Ireland and a 13 per cent uplift in North America.