Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo Illustration: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday sued to block Visa's proposed $5.3 billion purchase of Plaid, a San Francisco-based provider of analytics software for accessing transaction data.

The bottom line: Plaid lets fintech startups connect to users' bank accounts, but the DOJ argues that the merger would eliminate Plaid's potential ability to compete in the online debit market, thus giving Visa a monopoly. Visa told WSJ it plans to "defend the transaction vigorously.”

Background: Plaid was founded in 2013, and is sometimes referred to as the fintech market's "plumbing" — kind of like Stripe, but a bit further down the payments infrastructure stack.

  • The company raised more than $300 million in VC funding, most recently at a $2.3 billion post-money valuation in late 2018.
  • Investors include Spark Capital, NEA, Kleiner Perkins Growth, NEA, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz, Visa and MasterCard.
  • The $5.3 billion sale price is said to include around $400 million tied to retention bonuses and other Plaid employee compensation.
  • There were other bidders for Plaid, in addition to Visa, in part because there aren't really any other companies of the necessary scale that could serve as a viable Plan B.

A Plaid spokesperson declined comment.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

DoorDash files for IPO

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

DoorDash filed Friday for its IPO, which is expected to price in the window between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The state of play: There's a lot more noise than signal because of the pandemic.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.