Mastercard Says It Will Bend To Win EU Approval For Nets Deal

How Mastercard Uses AI To Fight Fraud

Mastercard Inc. is offering concessions in an effort to defuse the European Union’s antitrust concerns about its planned acquisition of Nets Group, the Scandinavian payment firm, Reuters reported.

Mastercard filed its latest intentions with the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, on Tuesday (July 28).

The panel extended its scrutiny of the deal to Aug. 17 to allow for feedback from competitors and customers on Mastercard’s concessions but did not provide details of the offer, Reuters reported. Once that is complete, the commission can approve the deal based on the concessions or open a four-month long investigation if it has serious doubts.

Last summer, Mastercard reached a deal to buy the Denmark based payments platform for 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion).

Mastercard was already a provider in the U.S. of real-time payments through its 2017 acquisition of Vocalink, a United Kingdom payments company.

“This is really about continuation of Mastercard’s expansion into being a multi rail provider,” Paul Stoddart, president of New Payment Platforms at Mastercard, told PYMNTS at the time.

The Nets deal, he said, follows logically from recent acquisitions, like Vocalink, where infrastructure was the focus but now looks toward applications and new use cases as revenue drivers.

Earlier this year, PYMNTS reported that EU regulators said Mastercard’s plan to purchase Nets presented a risk to competition on the continent. Mastercard said that the purchase would not negatively impact the U.K. or any EU nation.

“We have been working with the European Commission in order to expedite this process,” Mastercard said at the time.

The European Commission said it had agreed to a request from six European countries to handle the matter, adding the arrangement “threatens to significantly affect competition” in the Nordic region, the U.K. and the European Economic Area.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.