TurboTax maker is spending $7.1 billion to buy Credit Karma, a free tax service competitor

Intuit has reached a deal to acquire Credit Karma, a company known for offering free credit score checks. The acquisition gives Intuit — which owns TurboTax, Quickbooks, and Mint — another set of consumer-oriented financial products. It also knocks out a potentially serious competitor: Credit Karma has been offering free tax filing services since 2017, possibly taking away customers from TurboTax.

That’s a serious consequence of this merger. Over the past year, Intuit has been highly criticized for its handling of free tax filing, haven been caught actively hiding a tax-filing product it promised the IRS it would give away for free and steering customers toward paid products. It’s theoretically bad news if the company behind those…

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