I was working from Gartner’s press room on the day that the story hit that ZL Technologies is suing the firm for unfavourable coverage. Andrew Spender, VP Corporate Communications at Gartner and Brompton rider, gave me this statement on behalf of the firm.
We are aware of the complaint filed in California by ZL Technologies regarding their location in a Gartner Magic Quadrant. While it’s not our practice to discuss pending litigation, we do consider this complaint to be completely without merit and have moved to dismiss it in the courts. While we regret that ZL Technology is dissatisfied with its location in the Magic Quadrant, we remain committed to providing our clients with independent research and advice about the products that we cover.
It seems to Gartner that it has a pretty solid First Amendment defence in the United States. In other countries, analyst managers are probably consulting their lawyers about how actionable similar complains might be in other countries.
But we had this interesting comment from the former counsel for a telecom company:
Since they are fighting in the US, I see a strong chance for ZLT to succeed. its simply based on a fact that certain actions done by a dominant power can be considered anti competitive whereas the same act done by a smaller entity would have no consequences. Look at the normal business practices of Microsoft, which would have been harmless had they not been a dominant power.