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MasterCard cleared to acquire VocaLink

MasterCard has won regulatory clearance to complete its planned acquisition of VocaLink, a supplier of payment infrastructure services in the UK.11 Apr 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday that it had accepted undertakings submitted by MasterCard to address concerns it had previously expressed about the impact the deal could have on competition.

Under the conditions accepted by the CMA, VocaLink will allow a new supplier of infrastructure services to use its "existing network connectivity" to provide those services to members of the LINK payment system.

In addition, VocaLink will transfer intellectual property rights it owns relating to the LINK LIS5 messaging standard to LINK. The messaging standards allow LINK members to communicate with one another when cash is being withdrawn at ATMs.

MasterCard will also pay towards the cost LINK members will incur in "changing to a new supplier of infrastructure services to LINK", according to the CMA.

"We believe the future of payments will be defined by choice," Michael Miebach, chief product officer at MasterCard, said. "Adding bank account-based payments alongside our card network extends what we can do and how we can do it. Together, we’ll be one partner to meet all payment needs of businesses, governments and consumers."