Regulators Block Payments Merger in New Zealand
New Zealand’s Commerce Commission denied a merger between epay and Ezi-Pay because the transaction might significantly reduce competition in that market for pre-paid mobile phone top-up services, a release explains.
According to the commission, the companies actually compete in five markets. The four where the deal would have been allowed include: distribution and in-store payment processing of calling cards; third-party distribution and in-store payment processing of gift cards; distribution and in-store payment processing of digital content; and distribution and payment processing of pre-paid electricity.
But that wasn’t enough. “While the Commission is satisfied that the proposed acquisition will not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in four of the relevant markets, the majority is not satisfied that the same is true for a fifth market – the distribution and in-store payment processing of pre-paid mobile phone top-ups,” explained Commerce Commission Chair Dr. Mark Berry.