The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given approval to the proposed acquisition of credit card business of Barclays India by the Indian arm of Standard Chartered Bank.
"... the Commission is of the opinion that the proposed acquisition is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India. The Commission, therefore, hereby approves the proposed combination...," the CCI said in an order.
The CCI had on December 12 received a notice on the proposed acquisition.
The application stated that the credit card business proposed to be acquired by Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) India includes selected sale accounts, customer relationship, customer data and files and oustanding receivables of identified cardholders.
It was stated that SCB India is not acquiring any of the processes, infrastructure, assets or employees of Barclays India.
The notice also said that Barclays India will notify the concerned card customers about the transaction along with the offer of SCB India for re-carding and "those customers who convey their objection to receiving SCB India cards will not be issued credit cards by SCB India."
While SCB India is an arm of the UK-based Standard Chartered Plc, Barclays India is a branch of Barclays Bank Plc, also based in the UK.
The CCI considered the proposed acquisition at its meeting on December 28.
It noted that the credit card business in India is fragmented with presence of diverse players and the aggregate share of SCB India and Barclays India taken together is in single digit.
"Further, it is observed that SCB India and Barclays India have no arrangement among themselves in any activity, relating to the production, supply, distribution, storage, sale and service or trade in products or provision of service...
"Given the foregoing, the proposed combination is not likely to have an adverse effect on competition in India," it said in the order.
Barclays had put its India card unit for sale earlier this year as part of its business restructuring strategy.