PayPal dismisses competition concerns after $2.2 billion takeover of iZettle

  • The U.S.-based fintech giant secured the largest acquisition in its history when it closed the deal for Swedish payments firm iZettle in September.
  • However, Britain's antitrust watchdog — the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) — has since said PayPal "could face insufficient competition in the U.K. after acquiring its market-leading rival."
  • PayPal's COO told CNBC Tuesday that the company was "engaging productively" with the CMA.

PayPal has dismissed concerns that its $2.2 billion takeover of European technology start-up iZettle could lead to higher prices for payment services and reduce competition.

The U.S.-based fintech giant secured the largest acquisition in its history when it closed the deal for Swedish payments firm iZettle in September.

However, Britain's antitrust watchdog — the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) — has since said PayPal "could face insufficient competition in the U.K. after acquiring its market-leading rival."

Speaking to CNBC's Elizabeth Schulze at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki, Finland, on Tuesday, PayPal's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bill Ready said: "We absolutely believe that we will demonstrate that we are bringing more choice (and that) we are pro-competition."

"We are really looking to expand the market in ways that are great for small business and great for consumers alike," Ready said.

'Engaging productively'

The CMA's warning, published late last month, also said the merger raises concerns that "could result in customers, which include small and medium sized-businesses, paying higher prices or receiving a lower-quality service."

If PayPal and iZettle are unable to address the regulator's concerns, the merger will be referred for an in-depth investigation.

Andrea Gomes da Silva, CMA executive director, said in a statement: "While iZettle is a relatively recent entrant to payment services, it has already established a market-leading position in mobile point of sale devices and was well-placed to compete against PayPal in other emerging markets."

"That's why we are concerned that PayPal's takeover could lead to higher prices or reduce the quality of the services available to customers," da Silva said.

PayPal's Ready said Tuesday that the company was "engaging productively" with the CMA.