UK competition watchdog invites comments on Visa’s acquisition of Plaid

Maria Nikolova

CMA is considering whether the transaction may result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is inviting comments on the anticipated acquisition of Plaid Inc by Visa.

The regulator is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

To assist it with this assessment, the CMA invites comments on the transaction from any interested party. These comments should be provided by 10 July 2020 to Julie Flandrin (e-mail: [email protected]).

In January 2020, Visa announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Plaid, a network that makes it easy for people to securely connect their financial accounts to the apps they use to manage their financial lives, in a $5.3 billion deal.

Plaid’s products enable consumers to conveniently share their financial information with thousands of apps and services such as Acorns, Betterment, Chime, Transferwise and Venmo. Consumers rely on these apps and services to help plan their spending, increase their savings and monitor their investments.

Visa’s acquisition of Plaid represents both an entry into new businesses and complementary enhancements to Visa’s existing business. First, Plaid’s fintech-centric business opens new market opportunities for Visa both in the U.S. and internationally. Second, the combination of Visa and Plaid provides the opportunity to deliver enhanced payment capabilities and related value-added services to fintech developers. Finally, the acquisition will enable Visa to work more closely with fintechs through all stages of their development and drive growth in Visa’s core business.

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