Intuit Inc. has filed suit against Checkfree Corp., alleging it violated an agreement related to the way Checkfree distributes electronic bills.

Intuit's complaint, filed Wednesday in California's Santa Clara County Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief against Checkfree. It alleges that Checkfree violated an April 1998 agreement requiring the Atlanta company to refrain from offering its bill presentment products on "certain distribution channels," according to a press release.

Intuit, which owns a 19.9% share of Checkfree and sold a bill payment and processing service to it, declined to comment on what those channels were or elaborate on the release.

Gary Craft, an analyst with BancBoston Robertson Stephens, said Checkfree's recent efforts to partner with an Internet portal may have sparked the suit. "Checkfree is trying to be as agnostic as they can in terms of who they service with electronic bill payments and processing," said Mr. Craft. A Checkfree spokeswoman said the company had no official comment because it had not received case documents. - Ross Snel

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