On 6th August, Mastercard announced the $3.2 billion acquisition of Nets, a real-time payment infrastructure - its largest acquisition to date. This followed several other transactions earlier this year and signifies a move into a further diversification of its payment business and an increased focus on the use of technology as part of its payment offering.
Denmark-based Nets is present in 20 European countries and is used by over 400,000 merchants and 240 banks. The deal relates to the majority of Nets’ corporate services business, including its clearing, payment services and electronic billing solutions. The acquisition will be dependent on the usual regulatory clearances and the competition authorities have been notified and are likely to review its impact on competition.
Speaking to GCR journalist Emily Craig, London partner Wessen Jazrawi said that "the acquisition seems to be a significant move in light of Mastercard’s other acquisitions in this area” and “part of the company’s move into the real-time payments world”. Despite the deal being positively billed, she says: "It is not clear whether this deal will be good for merchants or the real-time payments market."
Full article Global Competition Review (subscription only)