Justice Dept. Investigates Voting Machine Merger for Possible Anti-Trust Violation

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Valued at $5 million, the September 2009 purchase of Premier Election Solutions Inc.

by Election Systems & Software Inc. (ES&S) was not something that immediately captured headlines. But what the deal lacked in purchase price, it made up for in controversy, because the merger left ES&S in control of nearly 70% of the nation’s voting machines market.
ES&S, the nation’s top seller of voting machines, wanted to buy No. 2 competitor Premier, a subsidiary of Diebold Inc. This attracted the attention of anti-trust lawyers in the U.S. Department of Justice. After several months of reviewing the deal, the government agreed to sanction it—as long as ES&S agreed to sell off its newest voting system (Assure 1.2) to another competitor, probably Hart InterCivic Inc.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Voting-Machine Deal to Be Cleared by U.S. (by Thomas Catan, Wall Street Journal)


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