American Express will buy Revolution Money for $300 million

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A startup credit card company launched by Virginia entrepreneurs Steve Case and Ted Leonsis in 2005 will be sold to American Express Co. for $300 million, The Associated Press reported today. 

Revolution Money is part of Case’s Revolution LLC, based in Washington, D.C.  It authorizes transactions through a PIN number. Revolution cards require no name, signature or account number, reducing the potential for identity theft. The company has about 1 million participating merchants and charges lower fees than other credit-card companies. That’s because its payment platform bypasses the traditional interchange network, using the Internet instead. 

Leonsis, who invested in the venture, serves as Revolution Money’s chairman and will become a special adviser to American Express, according to The Associated Press.  The company said in a statement that the acquisition will expand its reach in the area of emerging payment technologies. 

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010, pending regulatory approval. 

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