CCPC issues assessment to a number of parties in relation to Synch mobile payment service

April 29, 2022

As part of its review process into the proposed transaction whereby a joint venture between Allied Irish Banks (AIB), the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland (BOI) and Permanent TSB P.L.C. (PTSB) and KBC Bank Ireland P.L.C. will create a new joint venture company, Synch Payments DAC (Synch), see merger notification (M/21/004), the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has issued an assessment of the proposed transaction to AIB, BOI, PTSB and Synch. It is anticipated that Synch will provide a new industry-wide mobile payment service in the State.

This assessment, which sets out the preliminary views of the CCPC, is not a final determination. The parties have an opportunity to respond in writing to the CCPC’s assessment and they may also ask to make an oral submission.

This proposed joint venture was originally notified to the CCPC in April 2021.  The CCPC carried out a preliminary investigation of the proposed joint venture and concluded that a full investigation was required to establish if the proposed transaction could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the State.

The submission of a series of proposals by the parties, which have been developed to address the CCPC’s preliminary competition concerns, had the effect of extending the date by which the CCPC must make a Phase 2 determination by 15 working days.

Based on the timelines as set out in the CCPC’s Merger Review Process, it is now expected that the investigation will conclude by July 2022. At that time, the outcome of the investigation will be published on ccpc.ie. A full non-confidential version of the CCPC’s determination will subsequently be published.

As the merger control review is ongoing, no further information or comment can be provided at this time.

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