Capital One Discover Deal: What to Know

Capital One announced on Monday that it would acquire Discover Financial Services, in a deal to combine two of the largest credit card companies in the United States. But before the transaction can be consummated, the deal must overcome regulatory scrutiny.

Here’s what you need to know about Capital One and Discover’s potential megadeal, and what it could mean for consumers.

The deal, valued at more than $35 billion, would give Capital One access to a credit card network of more than 300 million cardholders, adding to its existing customer base of 100 million.

Richard D. Fairbank, the chief executive of Capital One, said on a call with analysts Tuesday morning that the deal would help the combined enterprise “compete more effectively against some of the largest banks and payments companies in the United States.”

Capital One was the nation’s fourth-largest credit card issuer last year, with $122.9 billion in outstanding receivable payments, and Discover was the nation’s sixth largest with $94 billion, according to data from Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the payment industry. The merger would place the two companies above last year’s largest issuer, JPMorgan Chase, which had $191.4 billion in credit card loans.

Credit card debt in the United States has soared, particularly as Americans try to cover rising expenses as a result of high inflation, and more vendors are shifting away from using cash. Capital One issues cards on networks run by Visa and Mastercard, and acquiring Discover would help it expand its payment operations.

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