PayPal picking Pinterest puts us in a parsing pickle

Look, we don’t get it either.

Taking some time as a group to sit around and chat through the possibly impending PayPal-Pinterest deal, Natasha and Alex didn’t wind up cracking the story. Which makes some sense, as investors sent PayPal stock down 5% on the news, implying that they didn’t really get it either.

Recall that PayPal has made a few other deals in recent years, including buying Honey ($4 billion) and Paidy (less than $4 billion).

Regardless, the transaction — worth potentially dozens of billions — could scoot the social giant into the welcoming arms of PayPal, an American consumer and business fintech giant. Here’s what we tried to sort out:

  • Does Pinterest have a big enough e-commerce story to make the deal line up with our first expectations?
  • We talked about Pinterest’s historical stock performance, as well as a number of culture controversies it has been embroiled in.
  • Why doesn’t PayPal just buy Etsy instead? Here we dug into why a shop-able, searchable mood board may satisfy customer demands, thus Pinterest’s lag on fintech infrastructure — in comparison to Etsy — has been somewhat surprising.
  • And if technology is all bundling and unbundling, does it make some sort of sense for PayPal to join forces with a more e-commerce content focused business, now more than a half-decade removed from its eBay divorce?
  • We ended with jokes about fintech’s expected (and unexpected) consolidation, and we want your best guesses for what’s next on Twitter. 

Frankly we had a good time. Mary Ann was going to join up but was thwarted by Apple’s iPhone headphone design, while Danny was slightly busy trying to figure out why his spouse beat him at Settlers of Catan, his favorite board game. We are back Friday with our regularly scheduled programming!

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