On 17 March the Office of Fair Trading “OFT” referred the anticipated acquisition by MBL Holdings Limited of Trigold Crystal Group Limited to the Competition Commission for further investigation. The parties are by far the two largest UK suppliers of mortgage sourcing software products, which are used by mortgage intermediaries to search for the most appropriate mortgage for consumers. The parties are considered to be each other’s closest competitors and the merger would lead to a very high combined market share. The OFT believes that existing suppliers will be unlikely to compete adequately with the merged entity and that barriers to entry in this market in the UK are high. It is therefore concerned that the merged entity could increase prices and/or decrease innovation, quality, range or service to customers. Click here for further information.