Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax

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    The Department of Justice is scrutinizing Silicon Valley giant Intuit’s $7 billion takeover attempt of Credit Karma, an upstart personal finance firm that became a competitor when it launched a free tax prep offering that challenges Intuit’s TurboTax product. From a report: The probe comes after ProPublica first reported in February that antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it could allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor with an innovative business model. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with a 67% market share last year. The article sparked letters from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., urging the DOJ to investigate further. Cicilline is chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee. Government lawyers worry that allowing Intuit to snuff out a promising startup could harm American consumers seeking free tax prep options, according to a June memo from the company side that describes Intuit’s legal strategy, which was obtained by ProPublica. The government is particularly interested in “the influence that Intuit’s purchase of Credit Karma will have on consumer tax preparation platforms and [the] software market,” according to the memo. Further reading: Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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