The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that TopCashback’s purchase of Quidco may lead to lower cashback rates for shoppers and higher prices for businesses using these sites.
TopCashback and Quidco are the two largest cashback websites in the UK, and each other’s main competitor. They allow shoppers to receive money back on certain types of online shopping and enable retailers to advertise and promote cashback discounts.
The CMA has been carrying out an initial Phase 1 investigation since November 2018 which has found competition concerns.
This is because the companies face only limited competition from other suppliers of cashback websites and similar services, including voucher websites and comparison sites. The CMA is therefore concerned that the merged company could decrease the amount of cashback paid to shoppers and increase advertising prices for businesses.
TopCashback and Quidco now have until 14 January to offer a solution to the CMA’s concerns. Otherwise, the merger will be referred for an in-depth, Phase 2, investigation carried out by a group of independent CMA panel members.