Visa, Plaid abandon billion-dollar acquisition plans in face of U.S. government opposition

Visa's bid to acquire and merge with fintech unicorn Plaid has come to an end.

The financial services giant said late Tuesday that the two firms have terminated their plans, a move that comes months after the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit. Visa and Plaid went public with the acquisition bid in January 2020.

As reported at the time, the deal was valued at $5.3 billion -- and the DOJ viewed the pending transaction as an effort by Visa to "eliminate a nascent competitive threat."

“We believe the combination of Visa with Plaid would have delivered significant benefits, including greater innovation for developers, financial institutions and consumers. However, it has been a full year since we first announced our intent to acquire Plaid, and protracted and complex litigation will likely take substantial time to fully resolve," Visa CEO and chairman Al Kelly said in a statement.

The DOJ hailed the development in its own statement.

“In a victory for American consumers and small businesses, Visa has abandoned its efforts to acquire an innovative and nascent competitor,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who leads the DOJ's Antitrust Division, was quoted as saying.

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