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With iZettle acquisition, PayPal looks to block Square’s overseas ambitions

With iZettle acquisition, PayPal looks to block Square’s overseas ambitions
[Photo: courtesy of iZettle]

Well, that was awkward. Last week, PayPal agreed to buy iZettle, known as the “Square of Europe,” for $2.2 billion in cash, making the deal the payments company’s largest acquisition to date. Bloomberg, in its write-up of the deal, used a picture of a Square checkout register, rather than iZettle’s copycat product—as Square was quick to note on Twitter.

Twitter sparring aside, the deal indeed sets up a showdown between PayPal, worth $90 billion, and Square, worth around $22 billion. With iZettle, PayPal is in a strong position to win over brick-and-mortar businesses in northern Europe and Latin America, where iZettle projects that it will process $6 billion in transactions this year. Square, in contrast, is available in just four markets outside of the U.S.: Australia, Canada, Japan, and the U.K., which launched last year.

In online payments, PayPal’s global reach is central to its value proposition. The company operates in over 200 countries/ regions and supports 25 currencies.

Square, meanwhile, is just beginning its push into e-commerce. Earlier this month, Square acquired Weebly, a website-building service, for $365 million.

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