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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Complementary approaches of UK regulators to the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision in payments

Throughout January 2017, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (‘PSR’) has been consulting on proposals for remedying its concerns over the provision of central infrastructure services (‘CIS’) to Bacs, Faster Payments Service (‘FPS’) and LINK (‘the Remedies Proposals’). It set out those concerns in its market study, the final report of which it published in July 2016, concluding that there is no effective competition for the provision of CIS (‘the Final Report’). In a related investigation, at the end of January 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) published its Phase 1 decision on the proposed acquisition, by MasterCard, of VocaLink. It has also announced that, subject to consultation, it proposes to accept a package of undertakings offered by the parties, to remedy the competition concerns which it identified in respect of CIS for LINK. As a merger control decision, the CMA’s analysis provides an interesting alternative view on many of the same issues, from a different regulatory perspective, as Al Mangan, Managing Associate at Addleshaw Goddard, explains.

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