US-based consumer analytics firm Buxton is suing Visa for breach of contract, claiming that the credit card giant tricked it into disclosing its research methods in order to drive the development of its own analytics products.
According to the lawsuit, filed on August 22 in the district court in Tarrant County, Buxton was commissioned earlier this year to analyze Visa’s client purchase records, from which it produced Tourism Reports tracking the travel patterns of consumers who were using their Visa cards while on holiday.
Visa urged Buxton to begin marketing the reports, and the analytics firm launched them at a trade show where it claims to have identified more than $1.7m in potential sales. Buxton also mailed related marketing literature to around 20,000 current and potential customers, after which Visa asked for access to this database so that it could check that the contacts ‘were in Visa’s credit card processing system’.
Buxton signed an agreement to continue using Visa’s data for the development of new products, but Visa failed to sign and return the agreement. The suit accuses Visa of breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and damaging Buxton’s customer relationships.
‘Visa induced Buxton into the business relationship so that Visa could learn Buxton's products and processes and then take its own analytics product to market, without Buxton’, the suit asserts.
Visa’s attorney has filed a request to have the case heard in the federal court, but the company has as yet made no other response to the suit.
Web site: www.buxtonco.com