The European Commission (EC) has given the green light to Mastercard’s proposal to buy a part of Nets – a Scandinavian payments group.
The acquisition is now subject to a license transfer for Nets’ Realtime 24/7 technology for account-to-account core infrastructure services (A2A CIS) to a rival.
The move comes after EC’s concerns about the impact of the acquisition in the A2A CIS space.
A2A CIS helps process electronic payments directly from one bank account to another.
“To address the Commission’s concerns, Mastercard and Nets offered to transfer to a suitable purchaser a global license to distribute, supply, sell, develop, modify, upgrade or otherwise use Nets’ Realtime 24/7 technology, with which the target business currently competes in A2A CIS tenders,” EC said.
Mastercard had agreed to acquire the corporate clearing, instant payments, and e-billing solutions of Nets Corporate Services business for €2.85 ($3.4bn) in August last year.
The deal is said to bolster Mastercard Send and Transfast technologies as well as Mastercard’s existing account-to-account (A2A) capabilities.
In April this year, EC launched a probe into Mastercard’s proposed acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account payment business.
EC said that the deal would pose competition problems in the Nordic region, the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA).
Mastercard disagreed with the regulator’s assessment and said that the acquisition will not adversely affect competition in the said regions.
European Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager said: “Today’s decision ensures that effective competition is preserved and facilitates the emergence of a new provider of real-time payment infrastructure services in the European Economic Area.”