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.
Justice Dept. Probes Voting Machine Merger as Midterm Elections Loom and Questions Multiply (by Pete Yost, Associated Press)
Voting-Machine Deal to Be Cleared by U.S. (by Thomas Catan, Wall Street Journal)