Worldpay/FIS: EC review could focus on vertical, conglomerate issues

24 June 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

The European Commission (EC) is not expected to find major horizontal overlaps in its review of Fidelity National Information Services’ (FIS) acquisition of Worldpay, but it may focus on potential vertical and conglomerate issues, independent competition lawyers and sector experts said.


Worldpay is a large merchant acquirer and online gateway with a significant presence in Europe, while FIS acts as an issuer processor for banks, with most of its business in the US, said Callum Godwin and Robbie MacDiarmid, respectively chief economist and economics analyst at CMSPI, a global payments consultancy for merchants. According to the two experts, no major competition issues should arise from the combination at the EC level.


However, since the parties appear to focus their activity on different segments of the card payments value chain, the EC may assess whether the deal could result in vertical foreclosure and conglomerate effects, according to three competition lawyers. The EC has a recent focus on market power in technology deals and is keen to understand the market consequences of fintech transactions, the first lawyer noted.


by Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro


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