Predicting the e-commerce acquisitions of 2015

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Will we soon see Alibaba buying eBay? Could Walmart bolster its e-payment strategy with a PayPal acquisition? Those are some of the predictions posited by Jason Del Rey in Recode, as he looks forward to what may be a blockbuster acquisition year in e-commerce.

Alibaba, overflowing with valuable stock following the biggest IPO ever, is poised to make big moves, he notes. The Chinese company might be eyeing eBay in 2015. “Alibaba has no legitimate consumer presence in the U.S., which eBay would help with, and the two marketplaces could combine to challenge Amazon in emerging areas overseas. Plus, they both pride themselves on the same differentiator with Amazon: They don’t compete against their own vendors,” he writes.

What about Walmart acquiring PayPal? What would that accomplish for Walmart? “Give it a proven payment method with a giant consumer base to challenge Apple Pay in mobile payments, while replacing the retailer-backed app CurrentC, which has yet to launch,” Del Rey writes. He adds other possible suitors to snag PayPal include Google, Samsung and Microsoft.

Speaking of Google, the search giant is going head-to-head with Amazon in e-commerce, as people search for products on Amazon and deprive Google of showing search ads to those customers. To compete with Amazon, Google needs a stronger delivery operation. “As a result, Postmates‘ technology, which matches customer orders to be picked up from local stores with a network of on-demand couriers in the area, could be very attractive,” Del Rey predicts.

A long shot, Twitter could buy Stripe, a company that lets customers make payments online.”If Twitter really is serious about building an e-commerce business, it may want its own backend payments provider that’s dead simple for merchants big and small to use,” Del Rey writes. “Another use case: Stripe’s payments service gets baked into Twitter’s new mobile app development service Fabric, cementing it as the full-service toolbox app developers flock to.”

Who do YOU think will make major acquisitions in 2015?

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