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Competition watchdog to investigate Quidco and Topcashback merger

Competition watchdog to investigate Quidco and Topcashback merger

The competition watchdog is set to investigate a deal which would see the UK's two biggest cashback sites owned by the same group.

Topcashback and Quidco have long been the two top-paying cashback sites in our Top Cashback Sites guide, having dominated the UK market for years.

But now Top Online Partners Group, which owns Topcashback, and Maple Syrup Group, which owns Quidco, have agreed to form a new single group, CB Group Holdings. The pair referred themselves to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which now says it will investigate.

The CMA will be looking at whether the deal could result in a "substantial lessening" of competition within the cashback market.

Although it only focuses on competition in the UK market, the CMA says the remedies it offers after investigations like this sometimes affect businesses at a global level.

Can I contribute to the investigation?

Consumers can send their views on the merger to Anna.Caro@cma.gov.uk by 21 November.

A 'phase one' decision on whether the merger can go ahead will be made by January 2019.

What do Quidco and Topcashback say?

A Topcashback spokesperson said: "Following good discussions with the CMA prior to formal submission of the application, which was voluntarily submitted because both businesses turnover above £70 million, we are optimistic of the outcome for the formation of the umbrella company to deliver a truly global money saving business, which will include the continued independence of all the existing brands of TopCashback, Quidco and Shoop."

A spokesperson for Quidco said: "The proposed deal was voluntarily submitted to the CMA, and they are currently reviewing the deal. We don't want to speculate on the outcome at this stage."

MoneySavingExpert.com has also contacted the CMA for comment.