Experian calls off £275m ClearScore acquisition
Experian has dropped its planned £275 million acquisition of ClearScore due to pressure from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
As reported in March 2018, Experian said it planned to acquire ClearScore, a UK firm that offers free credit checks for consumers and has over six million customers.
The deal was subject to approval from the CMA and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In the latest twist, the CMA provisionally found that the merger “could stifle product development, by substantially reducing the pressure to continue to develop innovative offers and to make other improvements in services, and so negatively impact consumers”.
That followed on from November 2018, when the CMA published provisional findings as part of its in-depth, Phase 2, merger inquiry. These set out concerns that the merger of two of the largest credit-score checking firms in the UK “could result in less intense competition in the sector”.
The CMA explains that Experian and ClearScore have now decided not to continue with the deal.
Experian also has something to say: “Experian does not believe that the CMA will approve the proposed acquisition of ClearScore on satisfactory terms, despite the dynamism and competitive nature of the market, and the customer benefits arising from the proposed transaction.”
In addition, it confirms the CMA statement: “Experian and ClearScore’s shareholders have therefore taken the decision to abandon the proposed transaction.”