A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on Friday evening.
Fair Isaac founded the FICO score in 1956 and published over 100 billion scores, according to its website. Scores are based on information collected by the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Credit reporting agencies also sell FICO scores to lenders.
In 2006, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion introduced their own credit scoring model, known as VantageScore. The Isaac fair sued the three agencies for antitrust violations, but a court later rejected these allegations. A federal jury later sided with VantageScore for not violating Fair Isaac’s brands or engaging in unfair competition.
Fair Isaac also sued TransUnion in 2017 for breach of contract, copyright infringement and other allegations. TransUnion has challenged Fair Isaac for antitrust violations. Last year, a Chicago federal judge ruled that TransUnion can go ahead with its antitrust allegations.
Congress and regulators, meanwhile, have tried to reduce Fair Isaac’s hold on the credit score market. In a 2018 law that sought to restore some of the banking reforms in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Congress ordered the Federal Housing Finance Agency to establish rules and criteria for the credit rating models used by Fannie and Freddie.
A rule proposed by FHFA in December 2018 would have effectively banned Fannie and Freddie from using VantageScore due to concerns about conflicts of interest. But the final rule, enacted in August, changed gears and allowed government-sponsored entities to use VantageScore as an alternative to FICO scores.
Fair Isaac and VantageScore did not immediately return calls and emails for comments sent after office hours Friday. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.