March 8, 2010 / 10:35 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. undoes key part of voting machine deal

* US Justice Dept orders Election Systems to sell assets

* Assets were acquired from Diebold in September

WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department required Election Systems & Software to partially undo a deal last year between it and a unit of Diebold Inc (DBD.N), the two largest U.S. makers of voting machines.

    The Justice Department announced on Monday a settlement with Election Systems, which would require the company to sell voting equipment systems assets it bought from Premier Election Solutions Inc, a unit of Diebold.

    “The proposed settlement will restore competition, provide a greater range of choices and create incentives to provide secure, accurate and reliable voting equipment systems now and in the future,” said Molly Boast, deputy assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

    While the deal was on the small side, about $5 million, it gave Election Systems more than 70 percent of the U.S. voting equipment systems market.

    On Sept. 1, Diebold, known for its automated teller machines, sold its U.S. voting machine business, which represented almost 3 percent of the company’s 2008 revenue, to Election Systems. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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