A federal judge is stopping H&R Block's plans to acquire the creator of TaxACT software because she found it would reduce competition in the do-it-yourself tax preparation market.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell agreed with the Obama administration that the deal violates antitrust laws and would leave just two major providers of tax software.
She said in an opinion Thursday that if the deal went through, Kansas City, Mo.-based H&R Block and Intuit, the Mountain View, Calif.-based maker of the popular "TurboTax" software program, would control over 90 percent of the market.
Howell wrote that products to help taxpayers are important since "the task of preparing a tax return brings joy to the hearts of few."
TaxACT was created by 2nd Story Software, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.