Jamie Dimon on Capital One's $35.3 billion Discover acquisition: 'Let them compete’


JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon isn’t worried about the added competition from a bulked-up Capital One if its $35.3 billion takeover of Discover Financial gets approved.

“My view is, let them compete,” Dimon said. “Let them try, and if we think it’s unfair we’ll complain about that.”

Dimon, speaking to CNBC’s Leslie Picker from a Miami conference, acknowledged that if regulators approve the Capital One-Discover deal, his bank will be eclipsed as the nation’s biggest credit-card lender. But that didn’t stop him from praising Capital One’s CEO Richard Fairbank.

“I’m not worried about it really, but we do track everything he does,” Dimon added.

The deal has two major components: the credit card business and the payment network, Dimon noted.

“The credit card business… they’ll be bigger and [have] more scale,” Dimon said. “They’re very good at it. I have enormous respect for Richard Fairbanks and Capital One.”

It’s unclear if Capital One can create a true alternative to the dominant card networks in Visa and Mastercard with this deal, Dimon said.

He added that Capital One will have an “unfair advantage versus us” in debit payments, owing to the fact that legislation known as the Durbin Amendment caps debit fees for large banks, but not Discover or American Express.

“Of course, I have a problem with that,” Dimon said. “You know, like why should they be allowed to price debit different than we price debit just because of a law that was passed?”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.



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