EBay and PayPal: Going their separate ways

In some segments of the corprate world, “smaller is better” seems to be the latest trend. (HP’s recent announcement is one example, although there is always contrary evidence like the planned Comcast/TimeWarner deal.) Case in point: The announcement that EBay will split off its PayPal subsidiary, in order for the two companies to focus separately on their core businesses. Here’s my comment from a recent RetailWire discussion:

PayPal has been growing faster than EBay’s heritage “Marketplace” business, and will be unsaddled by debt upon its separation. (Full disclosure: My son works at Braintree, the mobile-payments company acquired recently by PayPal.) If you believe that the mobile payment industry is about to explode, this is good news for PayPal. And the threat of Apple Pay is overstated, since PayPal (or Braintree) clients will generate revenue with every iPhone-enabled transaction.

The longer-term speculation — about either EBay or PayPal or both becoming acquisition targets themselves — is a valid one. Companies like Google and Amazon continue to compete against Apple and other providers of “one-stop shopping” technology.

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