Mastercard's EUR2.85 billion acquisition of Nets' account-to-account payment business is being assessed by the European Commission on competition grounds after six countries raised concerns about the deal.
Mastercard agreed last August to buy the business, comprising the clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing software of Nets’ Corporate Services business.
But Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK asked the EC to assess the takeover under the EU Merger Regulation.
The EC says that on the basis of the information provided by the countries, it considers that the transaction "threatens to significantly affect competition" in the Nordic, EEA and UK regions.
Mastercard, which will now need to secure European approval for the acquisition, says it is working with the EC to "expedite the process" and still hopes to close the deal before the end of the second quarter.