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Intuit Acquiring

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Leave it to Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU  ) to make the most of a good situation.

Just months after rival Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) agreed to kill its Microsoft Money Plus personal finance program, Intuit's Quicken brand is getting another major boost with a timely acquisition.

TechCrunch is reporting that the accounting software giant is snapping up Mint in a $170 million deal. The deal will presumably be made official this week.

You probably know We've partnered with the site at the Fool, giving our readers a free and seamless way to track all of their financial accounts. Mint's intuitive interface and its ability to dispense timely budget tracking and advice are great.

Don't blow it, Intuit. We all know that you have the premium Quicken platform to market. Gun-shy worrywarts are probably ducking for cover at the first signs of Intuit installing tollbooths and skimping on the free features that make Mint so magnetic.

Let's give Intuit a little credit, though. It knows the importance of reaching out to the larger freeloading masses. It already has its free Quicken Online offering, but there is a great wall of cynicism to scale there.

"100% Free, 100% of the Time," goes Intuit's online pitch, as if it knows that every jaded visitor is just waiting to be asked for a credit card number.

The acquisition of Mint -- if true -- is brilliant. Intuit can sweep its Quicken Online users into Mint, and not worry about the vetoes or phobias behind a brand that most of the public associates with premium tax filing and accounting software.

Mint users may be skeptical at this point. "Remember the Homestead," may be a chant from cynics with a sense of history.

Homestead was one of the popular free webhosts during the dot-com bubble days. It was eventually handed over to United Online (Nasdaq: UNTD  ) and is now owned by Intuit, where folks pay $4.99 a month for rudimentary hosting.

Will Mint be Homesteadized?

I doubt it. Intuit knows that any material changes to the fast-growing Mint model will send folks scrambling to rival sites such as Wesabe and Yodlee MoneyCenter. If it paid $170 million just to squash a pesky competitor, it will never be able to close that checkbook.

This is a golden opportunity for Intuit to cash in on a huge base of users and tactfully reach out to them -- occasionally -- with offers for its other products. If it has more aggressive makeover or conversion plans, I think could suggest better uses for that money than throwing $170 million down a hole.

Do you manage your money online through or any of its Web-based rivals? Share your experiences in the comment box below.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when personal finance software came pre-installed on computers and was the only game in town. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (18)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 14, 2009, at 5:02 PM, RHaganC wrote:

    I LOVE Mint; I hope they don't jerk around with it.

  • Report this Comment On September 14, 2009, at 10:06 PM, greedwhenfearful wrote:

    Just signed up after reading this article! Anyone trying to dominate their finances, to come out of this recession like Rocky Balboa, check out this awesome free service!! I love Mint! Brilliantly simple and powerful.

  • Report this Comment On September 15, 2009, at 10:01 AM, buckawho wrote:

    I hope they will still entertain our suggestions for I have a feeling that they will create a "Premium Mint" which will have a service fee.

    The "premium mint" could possibly include:

    Blogging...."maybe we could re-name it to "Blinging" cause it will be about money


    No ads(or maybe premium ads for places you frequently shop and particuliar categories you are shopping)

    Ability to print manufater's coupons???

    Provide profesional advice from CFP's

    Tax- Prep and running dashboards to track what you are paying into Fed/State Taxes, 401K, IRAs, etc.

    Maybe somehow can help you track your MyCaps score.

    And why doesn't have a MyCaps iPhone app....which would totally be worth $1 and if anything can donate the revenue to charity.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2010, at 11:05 AM, beadfairy wrote:

    I love this service. It has really helped me get my finances in order by having it all in one place. It was a breeze to set up. Just put in your account numbers and it magically pulls all your info from your accounts Although it has a few glitches here and there, nothing major that has hindered my using it.

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10/28/2016 3:24 PM
INTU $108.32 Up +1.01 +0.94%
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