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The nation's weakening economy is suppressing acquisitions in the merchant acquiring industry. "Since April, the market has definitely continued to deteriorate," says Marc Abbey, managing partner of Linthicum, Md.-based First Annapolis Consulting. "Most of it is driven by the headlines in the Wall Street Journal." Capital is more expensive and those holding it want more evidence their investment will reap the promised reward before releasing the money. The weakened state of many financial institutions and the uncertainty in the economy are contributing, too, Abbey says. In April, at the Electronic Transactions Association spring conference, Abbey said economic factors had created a seller's market. Today, conditions have changed. "It's a good market for buyers – a bad one for sellers," Abbey tells CardLine sister publication ISO&Agent Weekly. Still, neither buyers nor sellers need despair, he adds. "Deals will be done even in the hardest markets," Abbey says.

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