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NetScout sues Gartner over magic quadrant placement

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

NetScout has taken offence at its low placement in the all-powerful marketing tool, the Gartner magic quadrant, to such an extent that it's suing the analyst firm.

In paperwork filed on August 5, the network software vendor has come out swinging at Gartner, accusing it of running a “pay-to-play” operation.

“Gartner is not independent, objective or unbiased,” the complaint states, “and its business model is extortionate by its very nature”. It says the Gartner model rewards big-spending clients with favourable placements in the magic quadrant, and punishes those who don't spend.

In particular, the complaint centres around the March 2014 Gartner report into the network performance monitoring and diagnostics market, in which Fluke, Riverbed and JDSU-Network received better placements in the quadrant than NetScout. NetScout alleges the three winners are substantial spenders with Gartner.

In the March report, Gartner described NetScout as running behind the market on its architecture, feature sets and pricing, and said the company was “currently struggling to deal with new technical demands and rising expectations”.

Its complaint is filed under Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practises Act, and seeks not only monetary damages, but a permanent injunction against what it calls “unfair and deceptive trade practices,” and to prevent “any republication of false and defamatory statements about NetScout”.

The company wants the rules that prevent Wall Street analysts from running pay-to-play operations to apply to Gartner.

Gartner has, naturally enough, said that the lawsuit is without merit and will be defended. ®

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