Justice Department Stomps On VeriFone-Hypercom-Ingenico Three-Way

It's not often that the U.S. Justice Department gets an antitrust win this fast. But on May 20 the DOJ announced that POS terminal makers VeriFone and Hypercom had given up on the idea of selling Hypercom's U.S. POS business to Ingenico, to clear the way for VeriFone to swallow Hypercom. That decision came just a week after the DOJ filed a lawsuit to block the merger. "We are gratified that the parties recognized the anticompetitive nature of the agreement and abandoned its divestiture plan promptly," said Christine Varney, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the case.

But VeriFone and Hypercom are still trying to do a deal—just one that won't leave two companies controlling 90 percent of the card-swiper market. The most likely candidate to buy Hypercom's U.S. business is now Vivotech, which is already big in contactless POS terminals, with 70 percent market share—and would become a lot bigger if it gets Hypercom.