ICA clears merger between Nexi and SIA

Patrick Andreoli-Versbach

On 14 October 2021 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) cleared the Phase II merger between Nexi, Italy’s largest specialised payment service provider, and SIA, a European leader in the technology infrastructures and services for the payment industry active in over 50 countries. A CRA team led by Cristina Caffarra and Patrick Andreoli-Versbach, and including Stefano Callari, Elina Koustoumpardi, Valter Sorana and Alessandro Castellani, provided in-depth economic advice and support to both Parties.

The deal involved eleven affected markets across the entire payment services value chain. CRA’s analysis centred around showing that markets are wider than national, as the Parties face strong and increasing competitive constraints from players active at the European level. In addition, CRA played a pivotal role in showing how dynamic the payment industry is and the Parties’ strong degree of complementary.

Following an in-depth assessment carried out during the proceedings, the ICA found that nine out of eleven markets covered by the investigation were not problematic as they were mostly deemed supranational in scope. Minor behavioral (price-related) remedies were needed in card processing services for the domestic scheme, while structural remedies were imposed only to non-SEPA clearing, a steadily declining market about to be replaced by SEPA transactions.

The ICA’s press release, case number C12373, is available here.