The U.S. Department of Justice and nine plaintiff states filed suit against Election Systems and Software, Inc.’s (“ES&S”) acquisition of Premier Election Solutions, Inc. (“Premier”). ES&S, the largest provider of voting systems in the United States, acquired Premier, a subsidiary of Diebold, Inc. and the second largest provider of voting equipment systems. The acquisition was well under the HSR reporting thresholds. After this acquisition, ES&S provided more than 70 percent of the voting equipment systems used in elections held in the United States. The complaint alleged that because ES&S’s acquisition of Premier joined the two closest competitors in the provision of voting systems, it was likely that states and local governments would have seen higher prices and a decline in quality and innovation in voting equipment systems.
The states and USDOJ reached a settlement with ES&S under which ES&S will sell Premier’s intellectual property for all past, present and in-development voting equipment systems to another competitor. The buyer will have the ability to compete for contracts to install new voting systems using the Premier product. ES&S is prohibited for 10 years from competing for new
installations using a Premier product. The buyer will also receive copies of all existing
Premier service contracts so that it can compete for contracts that are up for renewals.