The Alibaba acquisition of Moneygram is blocked by the US government

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US regulators have blocked the sale of Moneygram to Alibaba.

Ant Financial is the Alibaba division in charge of Alipay which has the distinction of being China’s most used mobile wallet, announced their intention in 2017. The publicised agreed fee was $1.2bn.

Such a move would have been a good to make greater inroads into the US and also include benefits for getting greater business in India and the Philippines. But it now looks that those options are not open through a full merger.

“The geopolitical environment has changed considerably since we first announced the proposed transaction with Ant Financial nearly a year ago. Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the U.S. government, it has now become clear that CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) will not approve this merger,” MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said in a statement.

Doug Feagin, President of Ant Financial International said that although the acquisition was off, future cooperation is on the cards: “Establishing this new strategic cooperation with MoneyGram will add a partner with global remittance capabilities to our ecosystem and, while Ant Financial won’t have a direct ownership relationship with MoneyGram, we look forward to working closely with the MoneyGram team to make our platform even more accessible – particularly to unbanked and underserved communities globally – and create even better experiences for our customers.”

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