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MasterCard Inc (MA), Visa Inc (V), eBay Inc (EBAY): This Service’s Biggest Nightmare…Is Coming True?

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)It seems that once you’ve grown large enough to disrupt business as usual for MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V), you run the risk of getting muscled. MasterCard recently announced plans to raise prices on intermediated payment processors (read: digital wallets) that chose to withhold valuable transaction details from MasterCard. In other words, this measure takes direct aim at eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)‘s PayPal and other digital wallets such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet that do not share transaction details with the payment processor.

Priceless data
The more transactional data a company can get its hands on, the more insight it has on consumer behavior. In an age where marketers are working to better connect the advertising world with the world of commerce, transactional data becomes the equivalent of marketing gold. Considering that eBay’s PayPal conducted nearly $145 billion in transactions last year, it’s not surprising to learn that Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)’s fee could impact eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s bottom line in the neighborhood of $0.03-$0.04 per share for the year. Should Visa Inc (NYSE:V) follow suit, eBay investors can expect its earnings to be affected by another $0.07-$0.08 for the year.

Although a potential 4% impact on next year’s earnings doesn’t sound too detrimental to eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s bottom line, MasterCard and Visa together command nearly 90% of the global payment market. In other words, this duopolistic regime commands a serious amount of pricing power, which they could use to bully companies like PayPal that happen to be growing transaction volume hand over fist.

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