A PYMNTS Company

Italy’s Watchdog Probes Nexi-SIA Merger

 |  September 5, 2021

Italy’s competition watchdog said on Friday it had opened an investigation into Nexi’s planned merger with domestic rival SIA, citing antitrust concerns in the country’s digital payments industry.

Italy’s Nexi, which merged with Nordic rival Nets in June, expects to finalize the merger in the fourth quarter to create one of Europe’s largest payments group.

The merger of SIA into Nexi could lead to “the creation or strengthening of a dominant position,” said the authority in a note. The probe should be completed within 45 days, the regulator added.

Nexi said it hoped to grow revenues at a mid-to-high single digit rate this year after a 2.8% drop in 2020, provided Italy gradually emerges from the health emergency in the first half of the year. Revenue totalled 1.04 billion euros in 2020.

Despite the lower turnover as Italy wrestled with two COVID-19 waves in the spring and the autumn, Nexi reported a 2.5% rise in core profit.

Restrictions Italy introduced to fight a resurgence of the virus drove the volume of transactions down 8.6% in the fourth quarter, Nexi said, adding there had been signs of recovery in January.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.