VantageScore Solutions LLC, manager of a consumer credit score that competes with Fair Isaac Corp.'s FICO measure, said yesterday that a court ruling dismissing antitrust allegations will clear the way for growth.

"It's time to get on with our business," Barrett Burns, CEO at Stamford, Ct.-based VantageScore, said in an interview with Reuters this week. "This [ruling] removes that adoption barrier."

U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery last week rejected claims by Fair Isaac that big credit reporting companies Experian Plc and TransUnion LLC engaged in anticompetitive and unfair practices in developing VantageScore. Fair Isaac can proceed on a narrower set of claims, however, including trademark infringment.

VantageScore applauded the ruling, noting that the charges filed in 2006 in federal court in Minneapolis may have slowed its growth.

Credit scores are the basis for bank decisions on most types of consumer credit - home mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. The FICO score dominates the credit landscape but VantageScore believes it has made headway this year despite the fact that Burns believes some lenders likely hesitated moving forward with VantageScore because of the court action.

Fair Isaac also had sued Equifax but settled with that agency in June 2008, according to court documents. Fair Isaac CEO Mark Greene earlier told Reuters that the company also is in settlement talks with Experian Plc and TransUnion. In the original court action, Fair Isaac claims the scoring range used in the VantageScore model was confusingly similar to its range and constituted trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practice, according to court documents.

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