DOJ sues to block Visa acquisition of Plaid

The Justice Department sued Visa to stop its $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid, a fintech firm. The DOJ said Visa is a monopolist in online debit services while Plaid is developing a payments platform that would challenge Visa’s monopoly.

Plaid’s technology allows developers to plug into consumers’ financial accounts. DOJ said that because it connects to 200 million consumer bank accounts and 11,000 U.S. banks, it has become the leading U.S. financial data aggregation company.

The DOJ complaint alleges that Visa viewed the acquisition as an insurance policy to protect its debit busines, violating antitrust laws.