The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Ingenico by Worldline, both active in the payment services sector. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by the parties.
The Commission's investigation focused on Worldline and Ingenico's activities in the payment services sector, in which their activities overlap horizontally and create vertical links in a number of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Commission pointed out that there are competition concerns on the markets for the provision of point-of-sale (“POS”) merchant acquiring services and POS terminal provision and management services in three countries which are Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria. Commission is concerned that the transaction would create or strengthen a dominant position in these markets and so would harm competition and lead to higher prices and less choice since Worldline is the largest player in each of these Member States and Ingenico represents an important alternative to Worldline as being he leader in POS provision and management in Austria and Belgium.
In response, companies offered to divest certain businesses active in POS merchant acquiring and POS terminal provision and management. In particular, the divestment consists of;
• Ingenico's Austrian POS merchant acquiring and POS provision and management business;
• Ingenico's Belgian POS merchant acquiring business that includes the provision and management of POS terminals; and
• a part of Worldline's merchant acquiring business in Luxembourg.
The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction no longer raises competition concerns however, decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.
(European Commission, 30.09.2020)
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