DOJ TO REQUIRE ES&S TO SELL OFF ASSETS FROM DIEBOLD MERGER
CITING ANTI-TRUST CONCERNS
By Brad Friedman
The Department of Justice’s Anti-trust division has determined that the purchase of Premier Election Solutions, Diebold Inc.’s recently renamed e-voting division, by Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) has resulted in a voting machine monopoly. The DoJ and nine states who have joined in a lawsuit, are suing to require ES&S to divest of the assets gained in the bargain-basement priced purchase of Diebold’s e-voting outfit last September.
The merger with their second largest competitor Diebold/Premier, had given ES&S, a private corporation which had already controlled some 50% of U.S. elections their electronic voting systems, a full 70% control of the votes cast in this country. The acquisition had been opposed by election integrity organizations, Hart Intercivic (a much smaller Austin-based competitor), the New York Times editorial board, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and was being investigated by 14 different states along with the DoJ’s anti-trust division.