n. A small fee charged to a buyer or seller by a third-party whose software or technology was used to implement the transaction.
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To please the Street, and to make these evanescent windfalls appear recurring, Enron had to keep expanding into new (and ever more implausible) markets — a costly proposition that required the company to assume ever more debt. And here's the rub: Enron was not merely a toll-collector, a middleman skimming the vig off every transaction. It was a "counterparty" — that is, technically, it bought and then sold all the underlying goods that were traded under its aegis.
—Stephen Metcalf, “The How and Why of Enron,” New York Observer, July 01, 2002
Bankers have objected to Microsoft’s expressed desire to obtain service fees, called "vigs" after a bookie term, for financial transactions conducted over the Web.
—Paul Andrews, “Netscape’s general smiles as the smoke clears,” The Seattle Times, December 14, 1997
1997 (earliest)
Nathan Myrhvold, Microsoft's chief technology officer, confirms that Microsoft hopes to get a "vig," or vigorish, on every transaction over the Internet that uses Microsoft's technology, though he says in some cases Microsoft's share could come from a onetime software licencing fee.
—David Bank, “Microsoft moves to rule on-line sales Software giant wants to get a ‘vig’ on each transaction using its programs,” The Wall Street Journal, June 05, 1997
The word vig is short for vigorish, which is bookie slang for a fee that's charged on each bet placed. (It can also mean interest paid on a loan.) It's origin seems to be the Yiddish word vyigrysh, meaning "profit or winnings."
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