UK: Merger of payment software providers raises competition concerns

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating whether the completed merger of Bottomline and the EPG business raises competition concerns.

Both companies provide payments software used by businesses every day to submit direct debits, run payroll, and pay suppliers. This directly connects to the UK’s Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services (Bacs) scheme Bacstel-IP service and Faster Payments System Direct Corporate Access (FPS DCA). Bottomline and EPG are 2 leading providers of the software, with Bottomline by far the largest and EPG a trusted supplier to some of the biggest businesses.

After completing its initial Phase 1 investigation, the CMA is concerned that the new, merged company may increase prices, reduce product availability, or reduce its investment in innovation. This is mainly because if Bottomline had not acquired EPG, there would have been a realistic chance that EPG would have been bought by a different firm, which could have resulted in a more competitive market with greater product development and more choice for customers.

Full Content: Gov UK

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