India approves PayU's $4.7 billion acquisition of BillDesk - TechCrunch

India’s antitrust watchdog has approved PayU’s proposed acquisition of payment gateway BillDesk, the second-largest M&A deal in the consumer internet space in the South Asian market, more than a year after the two firms announced their merger plan.

The Competition Commission of India said in a tweet that the deal had been approved, but gave no details. The watchdog has made an in-depth assessment of the scope of the deal, announced last August, in recent quarters, meeting with several competitors and other industry players, people familiar with the matter said.

The CCI asked the two firms to submit a fresh application in April this year, India’s CapTable reported reported earlier.

“People familiar with the matter say the deal has come under intense antitrust scrutiny mainly because of the series of acquisitions PayU and its parent company, Naspers, have made in India and also because of the combined size of the two companies,” the outlet added.

Prosus Ventures-owned PayU and 20-year-old BillDesk handle a significant amount of payment transactions in India. Once united, they will take a clear lead in the Indian market – music to investors’ ears but worrying signs for any regulator.

“Together, PayU India and BillDesk will be able to meet the evolving payment needs of India’s digital consumers, merchants and government enterprises and offer state-of-the-art technology to even more of the excluded sections of society while adhering to a regulatory environment in India and providing robust consumer protection,” Prosus said at the time of the acquisition announcement.

PayU and BillDesk compete with Paytm, Razorpay and Cashfree.

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