Nov. 5 (UPI) — The US sued behemoth bank card firm Visa on Thursday to cease its multi-billion-dollar acquisition of Plaid Inc. over anti-trust issues.

Prosecutors accuse Visa in the criticism filed within the Northern District of California of buying Plaid “to neutralize” the menace it poses to its U.S. enterprise because the monetary know-how agency has been creating an alternative choice to Visa’s on-line debit companies.

“By buying Plaid, Visa would remove a nascent aggressive menace that may seemingly lead to substantial financial savings and extra progressive on-line debit companies for retailers and shoppers,” the Justice Division stated within the criticism, accusing Visa of being “a monopolist in on-line debit transactions.”

The Justice Division stated Visa’s on-line debit monopoly is protected by “important obstacles” that Plaid “is uniquely positioned to surmount.”

The criticism states Plaid’s know-how has made it the main monetary information aggregation firm in the US and was planning to leverage its connection to construct a bank-linked cost service that may compete with Visa’s debit service by permitting shoppers to pay retailers immediately from their financial institution accounts utilizing their financial institution credentials.

On Jan. 13, Visa agreed to accumulate Plaid for $5.three billion, its second-largest acquisition in historical past, and the Justice Division is suing to forestall it from occurring, stating it violates the Sherman Act and Clayton Act, which was designed to forestall the creation of monopolies.

“Visa is trying to accumulate Plaid, a nascent competitor creating a disruptive, lower-cost possibility for on-line debit funds,” Assistant Legal professional Common Makan Delrahim of the Justice Division’s Antitrust Division stated in an announcement. “If allowed to proceed, the acquisition would deprive American retailers and shoppers of this progressive different to Visa and enhance entry obstacles for future innovators.”

Visa rejected the lawsuit Thursday, stating the Justice Division’s criticism was “legally flawed” and mirrored “a lack of information of Plaid’s enterprise.”

“As we defined to the DOJ, Plaid is just not a funds firm,” Visa stated in an announcement. “Plaid is a knowledge community that allows people to attach their monetary accounts to the apps and companies they use to handle their monetary lives, and its capabilities complement Visa’s.”

Visa stated it’s “assured” in its acquisition plan, stating it’s good for each shoppers and competitors.