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CMA to consider Mastercard/VocaLink remedies

Staff Writer | January 18, 2017
The CMA is to consider whether undertakings offered by Mastercard and VocaLink remove the need to carry out an in-depth merger investigation.
Acquisition   Competition concerns
Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that Mastercard UK Holdco Ltd’s - a subsidiary of Mastercard International Incorporated - purchase of VocaLink Holdings would face an in-depth investigation, unless the companies could address the CMA’s competition concerns over the deal.

In particular, the CMA found that VocaLink and Mastercard are 2 of the 3 most credible providers of infrastructure services - which include software and hardware provision, as well as secure telecommunications networks - to the LINK ATM network.

As such, the merger would limit the ability of the LINK scheme to obtain good value when tendering for an infrastructure provider.

Mastercard and VocaLink have proposed remedies to the CMA which could address its competition concerns by reducing the cost to LINK of switching from VocaLink to alternative suppliers of infrastructure services.

The CMA has decided that there are reasonable grounds for believing that these proposals, or a modified version of them, might be acceptable to remedy the competition concerns it has identified.

The CMA has until March 15, 2017 to consider whether to accept the undertakings, although the CMA may decide to extend this deadline to May 15, 2017 if it decides that there are special reasons for doing so. As part of its process, the CMA will undertake a public consultation.