Federal District Judge Issues Permanent Injunction Against H&R Block's Acquisition of TaxACT in United States v. H&R Block, Inc.


On October 31, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia announced its decision to issue a permanent injunction blocking H&R Block's proposed acquisition of the company that markets the TaxACT line of tax-preparation software. The court found that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the global market for digital do-it-yourself tax-preparation products. The decision is a noteworthy win for the Department of Justice (DOJ), marking the first time that it has won a merger trial in several years.

The Proposed Transaction

H&R Block markets a line of tax-preparation software under the brand name "H&R Block At Home" (formerly known as "TaxCut"). On October 13, 2010, H&R Block entered into a $287.5 million agreement to acquire 2SS Holdings, Inc., which markets the tax-preparation software "TaxACT."

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