The FTC Has Some Additional Questions About The Nielsen-Arbitron Deal
Nielsen CFO Talks With Forbes, Company Explores Selling Trade Show Division
March 11, 2013 at 5:07 AM (PT)
In DECEMBER of last year (NET NEWS 12/18/2012), ALL ACCESS reported NIELSEN HOLDINGS signed a definitive agreement to acquire ARBITRON INC. NIELSEN agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of ARBITRON for $48 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 26% to ARBITRON's closing price on DECEMBER 17th, 2012. NIELSEN has a financing commitment for the total transaction amount. The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.
Well, that regulatory review isn't going as smoothly as the companies had hoped for, as THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION on FRIDAY (3/8) asked for additional information from NIELSEN and ARBITRON about their proposed merger. AD AGE reports, "NIELSEN withdrew and modified its original notification to the FTC last month hoping to forestall a so-called 'second request' for information. After the companies comply with its request, the FTC will have 30 days to make a decision. It's unclear how long the companies will need to get the necessary information."
AD AGE also notes that "some industry executives, who spoke not for attribution, believe the combined companies could monopolize the still nascent market for cross-platform measurement that put TV, radio, digital, print, outdoor and other media on a common metric."
If there's any doubt how important the deal is to NIELSEN, NIELSEN HOLDINGS CFO BRIAN WEST put those thoughts to rest in an interview with FORBES, saying "ARBITRON is a big deal for us. Our history has been a tuck-in acquisition strategy, two or three a year, you never break the bank. Adding capabilities or platforms that extend our current business model without going too far afield from what we do, and even ARBITRON is in that same philosophy."
In other NIELSEN news, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports the Company "has hired an investment bank to seek out potential buyers for its trade show business, NIELSEN EXPOSITIONS. The business organizes dozens of business-to-business trade shows and conferences across a number of industries such as retail and sports. The unit could fetch up to $1 billion."