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Visa and Visa Europe
Bloomberg News
Visa Europe Ltd., operating as an entirely separate company and a bank membership association for nearly a decade after Visa Inc. became a publicly traded company, came back into the fold in mid-2016.

Visa's global company will now serve 17,100 financial institutions and partners, more than 40 million merchant outlets and three billion card accounts.

The European Commission approved of the buyout after Visa had changed the terms of the deal to appease the commission's anti-trust concerns. To gain EC favor, Visa took out a planned earn-out facet of the deal in exchange for an extra 1.75 billion euros in cash.

Aside from the benefits of merging under one Visa brand, the companies have looked at the deal as a way to accelerate and improve technology advancements, as Visa Europe has a strong track record in the digital and mobile space.

Visa estimated that the merged company could generate up to $200 million in annual "pre-tax cost synergies" by 2020, representing about 30% of Visa Europe's operating expenses.

Visa branded cards and payment products enable approximately $6.8 trillion in global payments annually, Visa said.