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PayPal pays up big for Sweden’s iZettle

PayPal is paying up to get a bigger piece of the market for payments made at retail terminals outside the United States.
PayPal said Thursday it will pay $2.2 billion in cash to acquire Stockholm-based iZettle, in what is the biggest-ever acquisition in PayPal’s history. IZettle, which PayPal calls “the leading small business commerce platform in Europe and Latin America,” is known for its point-of-sale credit-and-debit card-reading devices used by small businesses, which use the devices to connect to smartphones or tablets and process payments. The company has also expanded into financial services for small businesses.

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In announcing the deal, PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman, said in a statement that iZettle “significantly expands our in-store presence around the world, strengthening our platform to help millions of small businesses.”
If what iZettle does sounds similar to what San Francisco-based Square does, you’re right. In fact another way iZettle has been described is as the “Square of Europe.” And Credit Suisse analyst Paul Condra said in a research note that in buying iZettle, PayPal could be putting a roadblock up in front of Square’s efforts to expand across Europe.
“We see more near-term impact for Square as a more aggressive iZettle could have implications for its European expansion plans,” Condra said, adding that the acquisition makes PayPal “the key fin-tech (financial technology) consolidator in the space.”

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