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Finance

Intuit's reported purchase of Mint: A fine defensive move

Intuit will reportedly acquire Mint.com, squashing any potential threat from a much ballyhooed startup.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Intuit will reportedly acquire Mint.com, squashing any potential threat from a much ballyhooed startup.

TechCrunch reports that Intuit will buy Mint.com in a deal valued at around $170 million.

Mint is a financial management site that has landed a bevy of followers. A lot of Mint's users see the service as a more intuitive version of Intuit's Quicken. Simply put, Mint is the new Quicken to its converts.

Sam Diaz is a big fan of Mint and it's not hard to find supporters of the site. I've resisted largely because I generally don't aggregate my financial accounts with startups.

So what do you do if you're the leading personal finance player (Intuit) and you see a potential threat far on the horizon? You buy it.

Intuit's move makes a ton of sense from a defensive standpoint, but when I see these deals I always have a mixed reaction. Wouldn't it be far more interesting to see whether Mint could become Intuit 2.0? We'll never find out now. Defensive acquisitions are just the normal course of business---Google, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft have all acquired potential threats---but just once I'd love to see these potential competitors on the horizon get a little bigger just to see the competition play out.

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