eBay agrees to buy PayPal competitor Braintree for $800 million

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paypal, ebay, acquisition, mobile payments, venmo, braintree

eBay has agreed to purchase Chicago-based Braintree for approximately $800 million in cash. Founded in 2007 by Bryan Johnson, Braintree provides its customers with a merchant account, payment gateway, recurring billing service and credit card information storage.

Wait, doesn’t eBay already own a company that essentially provides all of those services and more? Yep. And this acquisition is essentially eliminating one of PayPal’s main competitors from the playing field – sort of. Current high-profile Braintree customers include Airbnb, OpenTable and Uber – all attractive clients that PayPal would like to shack up with.

It’s worth pointing out that Braintree also owns Venmo, a division that produces an app by the same name that lets people transfer money to each other – functionality that already exists within PayPal. According to PayPal product chief Hill Ferguson, it’s too early to know exactly how Venmo will be utilized under the eBay banner.

Braintree will continue to operate as a separate brand and serve existing customers, Ferguson told All Things D. Under new ownership, the brand will be able to leverage additional resources from eBay and PayPal to help accelerate growth. The company’s 210 employees, including CEO Bill Ready, will remain employed by eBay as part of the agreement.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year pending regulatory approval, we’re told. If everything goes as planned, the deal is expected to have an “immaterial impact” on PayPal’s 2013 net total payment volume. The company projects more than $20 billion in mobile payments this year.

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