Cardtronics / DirectCash Payments merger inquiry

The CMA investigated the completed acquisition by Cardtronics Holdings Limited of DirectCash Payments Inc.

Phase 2

Administrative timetable

Date of referral: 15.5.17

Statutory deadline: 27.10.17

Full administrative timetable (2.6.17)


Final report

Provisional findings

25 August 2017: The CMA has provisionally cleared Cardtronics’ acquisition of DirectCash Payments.

Issues statement

7 June 2017: The issues statement sets out the scope of the inquiry. It outlines initial theories on what might be adversely affecting competition, but it does not set out findings or conclusions.


The publication of the evidence of any party on the CMA’s webpages does not indicate in any way endorsement by the CMA of the views expressed in the evidence or acceptance of that evidence. Publication in this way is designed to assist public understanding of the issues.

Response to the phase 1 decision

Merger notice

Inquiry group appointed

18 May 2017: The CMA appointed the inquiry group on 17 May 2017.

Alasdair Smith (Chair), Rosalind Hedley-Miller and Gavin Robert.

Terms of reference

15 May 2017: The CMA has referred Cardtronics’ merger with DirectCash Payments for an in-depth investigation.

Phase 1

Statutory timetable

Phase 1 date Action
7 June 2017 Decision published
3 May 2017 Decision announced
3 March 2017 Launch of merger inquiry
13 February to 27 February 2017 Invitation to comment
6 January 2017 Initial enforcement order

Reference decision

Reference unless undertakings accepted

3 May 2017: The CMA has decided, on the information currently available to it, that it is or may be the case that this merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom. This merger will be referred for a phase 2 investigation unless the parties offer acceptable undertakings to address these competition concerns. The full text of the decision is available below.

Launch of merger inquiry

3 March 2017: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.

Invitation to comment: Now closed

13 February 2017: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

Initial enforcement order

6 January 2017: The CMA served an initial enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on Cardtronics Plc, Cardtronics Holdings Limited, and DirectCash Payments Inc. in relation to the completed acquisition by Cardtronics Holdings Limited of DirectCash Payments Inc.

Amendments/consents granted

Published 10 January 2017
Last updated 22 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Final report published.
  2. Consumer survey technical note added under ‘Provisional findings’.
  3. Full provisional findings report published.
  4. Summary of provisional findings report published.
  5. Response to the phase 1 decision published.
  6. Full text decision, merger notice and issues statement published.
  7. Timetable published.
  8. Inquiry group appointments added.
  9. Reference decision published.
  10. Reference decision announced and terms of reference published.
  11. Derogation published.
  12. Decision announced: reference unless undertakings accepted.
  13. Launch of merger inquiry.
  14. Derogation published and invitation to comment launched.
  15. Variation order and amended initial enforcement order published.
  16. First published.