The acquisition by Diebold of Wincor is facing an in-depth merger investigation by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) unless the companies offer undertakings to address competition concerns.

Diebold and Wincor both supply ATMs (cashpoints) to banks and independent ATM deployers, as well as related software and maintenance services.

In its initial investigation, the CMA found that both parties competed closely in the supply of customer-operated ATMs in the UK. The CMA also said that at present there is only one other credible competitor supplying such ATMs in the UK (NCR), and there is limited prospect of other companies entering the UK market in the near future.

The CMA said it therefore found that the merger could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of customer-operated ATMs in the UK.

It said it noted that the transaction has been cleared by competition authorities in a number of other countries, but it said the competitive situation in the UK could differ from other countries, for example in relation to the number of providers and the barriers facing other companies trying to enter the market.

Diebold has until 26 August 2016 to offer proposals to resolve the competition concerns identified by the CMA. If Diebold does not offer such undertakings, or if the CMA is unable to accept undertakings offered, the merger will be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation.

Sheldon Mills, senior director, mergers and the decision maker in this case, said: “This merger would reduce the number of credible competitors in the market from three to two. Based on our initial investigation, this reduction in the number of credible bidders for the supply of ATMs could significantly reduce customers’ ability to obtain competitive bids.

“These concerns warrant an in-depth investigation which we will start shortly – unless the companies can offer undertakings to address these concerns.”