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INTUIT DROPS PURCHASE PLAN IN FACE OF ANTITRUST CHALLENGE, DOJ SAYS

 WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: INTU) has terminated an option to purchase Legal Knowledge Systems Inc. (LKS) after being advised that its proposed acquisition of ChipSoft Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: CSFT) raised significant antitrust problems because the acquisition of both LKS and ChipSoft would have given Intuit control of the two most popular types of tax preparation software sold in the United States, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division said today.
 Intuit proposed to purchase ChipSoft, a San Diego firm that sells TurboTax, the leading brand of tax preparation software used by individuals to prepare income tax returns with the assistance of a personal computer. Following the acquisition of ChipSoft, Intuit could have exercised an option to purchase LKS, which is based in Newton, Mass., and is the producer of TaxCut, a tax software product sold by MECA Software Inc. of Fairfield, Conn., and ChipSoft's principal competitor.
 TurboTax and TaxCut account for about 75 percent of all consumer tax preparation software sold in the United States, the department said.
 Anne K. Bingaman, assistant attorney general of the Antitrust Division, said: "The proposed combination of Ci?pSoft and Intuit, so lons? Intuit had the right to buy LKS, would have enabled ChipSoft to control the two most popular brands of consumer tax preparation software and would likely have resulted in higher prices to consumers. As a result of this restructuring, an independent competitor has been preserved, ensuring continued competition in the market."
 H&R Block of Kansas City, Kan., recently acquired MECA and LKS.
 The department announced earlier this year that it intended to challenge the proposed acquisition by ChipSoft of MECA. That transaction was abandoned.
 -0- 12/1/93
 /CONTACT: U.S. Department of Justice, 202-514-2007, or TDD, 202-514-1888/
 (INTU CSFT)


CO: U.S. Department of Justice; Intuit Inc.; Legal Knowledge
 Systems Inc.; ChipSoft Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: CPR SU: EXE TNM


DC-DT -- DC044 -- 9519 12/01/93 18:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 1, 1993
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