Anti-trust watchdog the CMA has suggested a number of remedies to counteract a reduction in competition for the supply of cashpoints in the UK in the wake of the $1.8 billion merger between Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf.
The Competition and Markets Authority has provisionally found that Diebold’s acquisition of Wincor may reduce competition in the UK ATM market, leaving only NCR as a credible competitor.
Announcing the findings, Martin Cave, inquiry chair, says: "That NCR is the only other substantial UK supplier of ATMs was a significant factor that underpinned the CMA’s investigation. It is important to protect against the risk of weakened competition in the supply of cashpoints which could lead to reduced quality and increased prices."
To remedy the issue, the CMA is recommending that Diebold Nixdorf either sells certain assets, or agrees to supply services to potential new market entrants.
Responding to the ruling, Diebold Nixdorf says: "Diebold Nixdorf is pleased that the CMA has not called into question the global transaction and integration of the businesses outside the United Kingdom, and that any remedies required to preserve competition in the United Kingdom will involve the least costly and intrusive remedies needed. Diebold Nixdorf is also pleased that the CMA is committed to continue working with the company and that the CMA will consider both behavioral and structural remedies to address and resolve their review as expediently as possible. The process is expected to be completed during the first half of 2017."
Evidence provided to the inquiry suggests that, outside of NCR, there is a weak competitive constraint on the merged companies. The group also found that any expansion of suppliers on the periphery of the market would be unlikely to occur within a time frame or on a sufficient scale to prevent the loss of competitive constraint arising from the merger. As a result, the merger may be expected to result in higher prices and/or a loss of quality.
The CMA is today also issuing a notice of possible remedies which outlines measures the CMA could take if it still believes the merger may be expected to lead to an SLC when it makes its final decision.
Martin Cave, Inquiry Chair, said:
We looked carefully at the market forces influencing the supply of ATMs in the UK. That NCR is the only other substantial UK supplier of ATMs was a significant factor that underpinned the CMA’s investigation.
It is important to protect against the risk of weakened competition in the supply of cashpoints which could lead to reduced quality and increased prices.
The group is now inviting responses to its provisional findings and remedies notice, and will continue to assess all the evidence before it makes its final decision.