Synovate Aztec have been looking at the Canadian market for some time. Their seriousness at mounting a challenge to AC Nielsen's Marketrack has been confirmed by the announcement that they have just hired Dave Mann - who was, until recently Sr. V.P. Marketing & Sales at Nielsen.
IRI looked at the Canadian market in the 1990's and succeeded in forcing Nielsen to remove exclusive contracts that prevented retailers providing transactional data to anyone else.
They eventually were unable to create an alternative to Nielsen's service in Canada. It was reported that they did force Nielsen to improve their service at the time in response to the challenge.
We'll see the result of Aztec's challenge. It comes at an interesting time as Nielsen recently recently restructured in Canada, letting go of a large number of staff.
Whatever happens it'll be fun to watch. These guys are not friends.