Smart Move(?)
February 22, 2024 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Capital One announced this week that it intends to buy Discover in an all-stock deal valued at $35 billion, which would make it by some measures the largest credit card company in the U.S. While CEO Richard Fairbank covets Discover's independent payments network, consumer advocates fear a negative effect on its vaunted customer service, as well as a general trend of credit card companies squeezing customers more as they grow larger. Though there is an argument that the proposed deal will increase competition at the network level, it will still face heavy antitrust scrutiny from the Federal Reserve and Biden administration regulators. Meanwhile in Congress, criticism of the deal has already been aired by pro-regulation stalwarts, including Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, and... Josh Hawley?
posted by Rhaomi (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
As a Discover customer of 20 years, my reaction to this news is as follows: no.
posted by saladin at 3:09 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]

Josh Hawley shouldn't even be in Congress any longer.
posted by hippybear at 3:19 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]

There is no good that can come from this
posted by Ludi at 3:28 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]

posted by seraphine at 4:00 PM on February 22

It's no surprise to see Josh Hawley's name on that list. He's been a stalwart antitrust ally.
posted by billjings at 4:18 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]

Discover has a large office here in Columbus. (I used to work there in the Age of Customer Service.) Every single one of my friends that work there is being let go as part of this acquisition. It's going to destroy the brand in ways I cannot even fathom.
posted by gwydapllew at 5:18 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]

If the FTC lets this go through without challenge, they are worthless.
posted by praemunire at 5:19 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]

Huh; cheaper than Twitter.
posted by TedW at 5:45 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

The US government should be focused on breaking up its economy's already highly-concentrated, monopolistic financial institutions, not passively watching further mergers and acquisitions.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 6:08 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]

Discover has for years had the best customer service of any big business I've interacted with. (Liberty Mutual is also very good once you get a human being to talk to, but getting to a human is significantly harder.)
posted by straight at 6:32 PM on February 22

The feds have been getting more aggressive on antitrust so I’m hopeful they kill this. Of course, these sorts of mergers take a year or two and we’ve got an election in 8 months, so…
posted by rhymedirective at 7:06 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank

A good one for the nominative irony list.
posted by atoxyl at 8:22 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]

The Fed Is Behind the Capital One/Discover Merger
In 2010, Congress capped fees for debit card networks so merchants don't get gouged by Visa and Mastercard. But the Fed stuck in a loophole for Discover. And that is leading Capital One to buy it.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:14 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]

Psht, naysayers, we all know the larger the corporation, the bigger the savings. These people are doing gods work, saving us from the high cost of small(er) business. I for one, welcome our new financial overlords.
posted by evilDoug at 10:18 PM on February 22

I set up a Resistbot "petition" (really like a form email) sent to the President. Text SIGN PBONZC to 50409 and it'll walk you through signing and show you the text. Or feel free to do this to get my text and then copy-paste and edit and re-paste into Resistbot if you want to customize.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:46 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

well that's disappointing. Time to find another credit card.
posted by hydra77 at 7:38 AM on February 23

it will still face heavy antitrust scrutiny from the Federal Reserve and Biden administration regulators.

Maybe. On the other hand- Senator MBNA
posted by BWA at 8:02 AM on February 23

Stop these companies from merging. Sick of the oligarchies and even more sick on the duopolies and the functional monopolies should be destroyed, their wealth redistributed.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:13 AM on February 23

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