After 30 years of bitter rivalry, many lawsuits, distortions and outright lying by both sides, A. C. Nielsen and IRI have finally agreed on something.
ACN and IRI are combining backoffice operations on consumer panel recruitment. The raw data collected is pretty much the same, so why collect it twice? Although both companies will compete in the important areas -- QC, projection, use of the data in marketing -- maybe this will be a new era of cleaner competition. Maybe.
Full disclosure: I've worked for IRI for 20 years this month. I remember George Garrick (who was president of BOTH companies during his career) making us chant "For IRI to Win, Nielsen Must Lose" during employee meetings.