DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the federal government, Colorado and eight other states have reached an agreement with Election Systems & Software to address antitrust allegations.
Under the agreement, Election Systems & Software, which acquired Premier Election Solutions, Inc., in September 2009, will be required to take several measures to comply with state and federal antitrust laws, including:
- Divest some of its assets, including its inventory, related to Premier Election Solutions, Inc.;
- Waive all non-competition and non-disclosure agreements for all current and former Premier
employees (Election Systems & Software will be prohibited from interfering with any efforts to recruit Premier’s current and former employees);
- Not interfere with the purchaser’s efforts to contract with third-party voting-machine manufacturers; and,
- Supply parts and inventory to the purchaser for up to two years while the new entity arranges for its own, independent manufacturing of voting machines and related parts.
“Election Systems & Software’s acquisition of Premier Election Solutions and its increased market share could have harmed competition between voting machine vendors in Colorado,” Suthers said. “This agreement will ensure that our counties can obtain voting machines and the services for their machines at competitive prices from the companies certified by the Secretary of State’s Office and any new companies that might come to Colorado.”
Prior to the merger, Election Systems & Software had a 19 percent market share in Colorado by serving Mesa and Jefferson counties. Following the merger, Election Systems & Software’s market share grew to 46 percent and spanned 16 counties throughout the state.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hold a comment period of at least 60 days on the proposed settlement, which the federal government, Colorado and the other states have reached with Election Systems & Software. Following the comment period, the court will determine if the agreement is “in the public interest.”