Visa Opts Out Of Plaid Acquisition, Cites Complex Litigation


Visa has opted out of its $5.3 billion planned acquisition of Plaid after objections stemming from a Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

The antitrust suit challenged the acquisition, saying it would put Visa in a position to maintain a monopoly in the online debit card market. Plaid had been a “nascent but important competitive threat,” WSJ reported, and if Visa had been able to buy Plaid, it could have resulted in higher prices, less innovation and more of an entry barrier for online debit services.

“We are confident we would have prevailed in court as Plaid’s capabilities are complementary to Visa’s, not competitive,” Visa CEO Al Kelly said in a statement Tuesday (Jan. 12). “… 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.”

The proposed deal originated in January 2020, PYMNTS reported. Plaid’s service allows users to share banking information with apps like Chime and Venmo. For example, a user could sign up for Venmo and use Plaid to link their bank account automatically. The service, according to PYMNTS, was one that could have eventually let users bypass credit cards and transfer money directly from bank accounts to other types of services. The company has already integrated with over 15,000 banks in Canada and the U.S.