Britain’s second-largest energy company could be created from a merger between EDF Energy and Scottish Power. If this were to happen, it would be a move that would spark competition fears in the UK and outrage from consumer groups which are already warning about soaring electricity and gas prices.
EDF, the giant French energy monopoly that is London’s main electricity provider, could be poised to launch a takeover bid for Iberdrola, the Spanish group that bought Scottish Power 15 months ago.
This type of merger would create the UK’s second largest household energy provider after British Gas and cut the number of major market suppliers to five.
A merger in Britain between EDF Energy and Scottish Power would launch a company with more than 10m gas and electricity customer accounts. This accounts for over a fifth of the residential market.
It would bypass Southern Electric group Scottish and Southern Energy, which has about eight million customers.
German groups E.On (which used to trade as Powergen) and RWE, the owner of npower, split the remaining 25% of the UK market. Consumer watchdog Energywatch is already warning the Government that competition between the existing six major suppliers is not operating to the benefit of consumers.