Business

Visa's startup deals: acquired YellowPepper in LatAm, but fintech Plaid acquisition faces antitrust scrutiny

The acquisition of YellowPepper builds on a strategic partnership and investment Visa made in the startup in May 2018. For Plaid, Visa has a $5.3 billion deal, which would boost the company's access to the fintech space

PHOTO: A Visa logo is seen during a news conference at the MAXXI National Museum in Rome, Italy May 17, 2016 REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
  • Visa’s $5.3 billion deal to buy fintech startup Plaid, announced back in January, is facing antitrust scrutiny at the U.S. Justice Department;
  • The Wall Street Journal had reported on Tuesday that the department could decide soon whether it will sue to block the deal.

Visa has been in a mixed blessing regarding acquisitions. It announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire YellowPepper, a fintech pioneer with proprietary technology and partnerships supporting leading financial institutions and startups in Latin America and the Caribbean. On the other hand, Visa‘s $5.3 billion deal to buy fintech startup Plaid is facing antitrust scrutiny at the U.S. Justice Department, which filed a petition with a court on Tuesday demanding more information about the business.

The Justice Department is reviewing the proposed transaction to determine if it is in violation of antitrust law.

The Wall Street Journal had reported on Tuesday that the department could decide soon whether it will sue to block the deal.

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The government on Tuesday filed a petition with a U.S. district court in Massachusetts, asking it to require consulting firm Bain & Co to turn over documents wanted as part of the antitrust review, including some that discuss Visa’s strategies around pricing and competition with other debit card networks.

The department said in a statement that Bain was “asserting unsupported claims of privilege over the documents.” Bain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Visa and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment regarding the newspaper report. Plaid declined to comment about the report.

The deal, which would boost Visa’s access to the fintech space, was announced in January.

(Updated at 4:45 pm)

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