Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over Bankgirocentralen BGC AB (‘Bankgirot’), through a newly-created joint venture, the P27 Nordic Payment Platform (‘P27 NPP’), both of Sweden, by six Nordic banks.

The six banks are Danske Bank A/S of Denmark, Svenska Handelsbanken AB, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, and Swedbank AB, all three of Sweden, and Nordea Bank Abp and OP Corporate Bank plc, both of Finland (together, the ‘parent companies’). Bankgirot is the incumbent provider of Layer 1 services (i.e. clearing services) and Layer 2 services (i.e. invoice payment solutions) in Sweden.

P27 NPP is a greenfield joint venture for the provision of cross-border Layer 1 and Layer 2 services in Nordic countries. The transaction gives rise to horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the activities of the companies in the Nordic markets. As regards horizontal overlaps between Bankgirot and P27 NPP, the Commission found that the number of providers available for the customers in the relevant markets will not be reduced.

As regards the vertical links, the Commission found that the parties will have no ability or incentive to foreclose competitors, in light of the applicable regulatory requirements and as it could undermine the success of P27 NPP.  Therefore, the Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under case number M.9971.

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