Catalina sues Quotient, alleging predatory pricing in checkout coupon battle
Catalina Marketing Corp. is suing Quotient Technology, alleging its competitor’s 2019 move into instant checkout coupon machines came at below-cost predatory pricing and with deceptive marketing to packaged-goods clients.
Unlike Catalina, which prints coupons from a separate machine at checkout in stores nationwide, Quotient’s system prints coupons at the end of receipts and doesn’t require a similar investment in equipment or paper.
The lawsuit filed today in Florida state court in Pinellas County says that Quotient used predatory pricing to enter an agreement with Albertsons to displace Catalina for in-store coupon printing in 2019. And, on Feb. 17, Quotient announced plans to expand to “an unnamed ‘major drug retailer in the second half of 2021.’” Catalina is seeking unspecified damages and costs.
Executives of Quotient didn't immediately respond to an email request for comment.
As part of the 2019 move into Albertsons, Quotient paid the retailer $8 million in cash upfront, according to the complaint, to make up for what the chain was making from Catalina. This upfront payment alone brought Quotient’s pricing below its costs. Catalina alleges Quotient also made misleading statements to CPG clients about how many stores it covered in 2019 and falsely said marketers would need to transition their programs to Quotient.
Catalina has increasingly moved to other analytics services, bolstered also from data accumulated through retailer loyalty programs it manages, but the suit points to the fact that its original in-store coupon business remains crucial.