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EU sets Sept. 16 deadline for decision on $9.2 bln…

BRUSSELS, Aug 13 – EU antitrust regulators will decide by Sept. 16 whether to clear French payments company Worldline’s 7.8-billion-euro ($9.23 billion) buy of rival Ingenico to create a European leader.

Worldline, born out of French IT company Atos, sought European Commission approval for the deal on Aug. 12, according to a filing on the EU competition enforcer’s website.

The Commission can either clear the deal with or without conditions or it can open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.

The payments sector has seen a wave of consolidation in recent months as companies seek a foothold in digital transactions, prompted in part by the growing use of smartphone-based online payments like Apple’s Apple Pay and WeChat.

($1 = 0.8450 euros) (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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