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September 19, 2022

Pivo backs out of merger with Vipps, MobilePay over competition issues

Finland-based payments provider Pivo has ceased to be part of a previously announced deal to merge with MobilePay and Vipps after the European Commission (EC) raised doubts regarding the transaction.

The deal was announced last year. It involved a three-way merger agreement between OP Financial Group, which owns the Pivo mobile wallet, Danske Bank, owner of MobilePay, and a consortium of banks behind Vipps.

As part of the deal, MobilePay, Pivo and Vipps were expected to club together to form a single payments app to serve consumers across Finland, Denmark and Norway.

However, EC raised concerns that the merger would badly impact competition in Finland’s mobile payment industry as both MobilePay and Pivo are two major players in Finland.

It has compelled Danske Bank and the consortium of banks behind Vipps to take OP Financial and Pivo out of the merger.

The amended deal is yet to receive the nod of the EC.

Once approved, it will see Danske Bank owning a 27.8% stake and the Norwegian consortium holding the remaining 72.2% stake in the consolidated entity.

Danske Bank head of personal customers Christian Bornfeld said: “MobilePay in Denmark and Finland will still merge with Vipps.

“The parties’ ambition to create a mobile payment wallet across borders has not changed.

“Both Danske Bank and the Norwegian banks behind Vipps would have preferred the merger, as planned, to include OP Financial Group and Pivo, but we respect the Commission’s concerns and now hope for a swift approval.”

According to Danske Bank, the merged entity, which will be created after the amalgamation of Vipps and MobilePay, will cater to nearly 11 million consumers and over 400,000 physical stores and webshops.

The proposed firm, named Vipps MobilePay, also seeks to add 600 new staffs.

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