Diebold Nixdorf’s shiny new corporate moniker is already threatened by a possible deep investigation by U.K. authorities into the company’s possible anti-competitive violations.
The Ohio-based ATM giant last week announced the completion of its $1.8 billion deal to acquire Wincor Nixdorf, a leading German ATM maker, creating a combination that reaches about 1 million bank ATMs worldwide with annual sales of more than $5 billion.
But during a routine initial investigation of the deal, the U.K.’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) saw possible red flags surrounding the merger’s effect on local competition, because it would narrow the field from three to two credible ATM suppliers in the U.K. NCR also supplies ATMs in the U.K.
“Based on our initial investigation, this reduction in the number of credible bidders for the supply of ATMs could significantly reduce customers’ ability to obtain competitive bids,” said Sheldon Mills, CMA’s senior director of mergers, in a press release dated Aug. 19, the same date the agency had promised to reveal the results of its examination of the merger.
The CMA last week told Diebold it has until Aug. 26 to propose solutions to offset competition concerns before it launches an “in-depth” investigation into the merger. The agency from July 24 through July 8, 2016 invited comments from the industry and public about the merger’s possible market effects.
Analysts previously noted the Diebold-Wincor Nixdorf merger could complement each company’s prospects as ATM and cash use slackens with the shift to electronic and mobile payments.
A Diebold spokesperson said the company is cooperating with the CMA's review, noting the agency is the only one still reviewing the deal from an antitrust perspective, and its questions pertain only to the U.K.
"We can't speculate at this point as to timing around when we'll be able to operate as Diebold Nixdorf in the U.K. or what impact the CMA's decision may have," the spokesperson said, adding that the companies will continue to operate separately in Britain until the agency approves the merger.