March 5, 2010

Justice Department Set To Clear Voting Machine Deal

THE JUSTICE Department is poised to allow the merger of the U.S.'s two largest makers of voting machines, but the combined company will be required to divest a key electronic voting system, said people familiar with the matter.

In September, closely held Election Systems & Software Inc. agreed to buy No. 2 voting-machine manufacturer Premier Election Solutions Inc., a money-losing unit of Diebold Inc.

The deal, which was valued at $5 million, was too small to trigger a mandatory federal antitrust review. But it generated a wave of opposition from election officials and others worried the deal would deprive voting precincts of choice and leave the country's election system more vulnerable to failures.

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