Partnerships / Acquisitions

DOJ Asks First Data, Fiserv For Additional Docs


The Department of Justice has requested more information from First Data and Fiserv ahead of the pending merger of the two payment giants.

Filings by Fiserv with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday revealed that on April 4, the two firms each received a request for “additional information and documentary materials” in what is known as a second request from the Department of Justice.

The request for the unspecified information was made as part of the ongoing review of the merger between the two companies, which had been announced in January.

The effect of the second request, said the SEC filing, is to extend the waiting period that exists under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

The companies said they still expect to complete the merger in the second half of 2019. That timeframe had been disclosed upon the announcement of the merger.

As disclosed by materials provided by the Federal Trade Commission in the “Model Request for Additional Information and Documentary Material (Second Request),” the second request extends the waiting period for “a specified period, usually 30 days (10 days in the case of a cash tender offer or a bankruptcy sale), after all parties have complied with the request.”

As reported in this space upon the merger’s announcement, the $22 billion all-stock deal means that Fiserv will buy First Data and the consolidated entity will be known as Fiserv.

Materials published by the companies earlier in the year show what the companies said would be the business model alignment, with card-based payments and security solutions contributing 42 percent of EBITDA (which PYMNTS notes as a rough measure of free cash flow used by Wall Street) and global merchant acquiring as 58 percent of EBITDA.

Fiserv has said it has processed more than 30 billion digital payment transactions, and is tied to more than 25 million active bill payment users. First Data has more than one billion card accounts on file globally, and processes more than four out of 10 transactions done at the point of sale in the U.S.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.