FILE PHOTO: The logo of Italian payments group Nexi is pictured outside their headquarters in Milan, Italy, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
October 14, 2021
MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust authority said on Thursday it had given the green light to Nexi’s planned acquisition of smaller rival SIA but imposed some conditions on the two groups.
Last month, the competition watchdog said it had opened an investigation into Nexi’s merger with SIA, citing antitrust concerns in the country’s digital payments industry.
Nexi, which merged with Nordic rival Nets in June, expects to finalise the merger with SIA this quarter, creating one of Europe’s largest payments groups.
The watchdog said in a statement that the measures imposed were aimed at avoiding discrimination and granting efficiency to any potential new players in the sector.
It added that the merger could strengthen or create a dominant position in some specific sectors, such as domestic card processing and clearing services, although the situation is expected to be temporary.
As a result, it has asked Nexi to waive an exclusivity clause in contracts with equensWorldline with reference to domestic processing and non-SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) clearing services, and to sell non-SEPA clearing contracts that the group currently has with banks.
(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, editing by Giulia Segreti, Kirsten Donovan)