TopCashback, owned by Top Online Partners Group, proposed to purchase Quidco, owned by Maple Syrup Group, and merge to create CB Group Holdings, introducing a potential global publisher group within the cashback industry.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initially carried out the investigation into the merger in January following competition concerns, believing the merger could result in lower cashback rates for shoppers, higher prices for businesses using these sites and both companies facing limited competition from other suppliers of cashback, voucher and comparison sites. 

At the time of developments, Olly Ragg, co-founder and director at Top Online Partners Group said that creating a bigger money-saving group was “the next logical step in reaching even more people around the world to help them save as much money as possible.”

Similarly, Paul Nikkel, founder of the Maple Syrup Group, added that joining forces to create even more money-saving opportunities for our members while bringing our values and concepts to a global audience was an exciting step forward.

According to an official statement from the CMA, TopCashback and Quidco chose not to offer undertakings to address the governing body’s concerns and the merger was referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

Both companies have now decided not to proceed with the deal.