FTC OKs Nielsen/Arbitron Deal
September 20, 2013 at 3:23 PM (PT)
The FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION has just given NIELSEN HOLDINGS antitrust approval to buy ARBITRON INC. -- if certain conditions are met. REUTERS reports that NIELSEN has agreed to sell and license some assets related to ARBITRON's cross-platform audience measurement services that tell advertisers in a holistic way what customers watch on television, listen to on the radio, look at online and see on their mobile devices.
The deal is now expected to close on SEPTEMBER 30th, 2013.
“We are pleased to have the regulatory process behind us and are excited to be closing the ARBITRON acquisition,” NIELSEN CEO DAVID CALHOUN said. “We are looking forward to providing all of the benefits of the combined company to our new clients in the radio industry and their advertisers, driving incremental value for them as well as our shareholders.”
In its public statement, NIELSEN asserted that the deal is "intended to preserve the competitive landscape in place before its announced intent to acquire ARBITRON. It does not affect the strategic rationale of the acquisition or the anticipated benefits to NIELSEN from the transaction ... The FTC’s order effectively enables the continuation of a cross-platform project measuring TV, radio, PC, mobile and tablet engagement which was announced by ARBITRON in concert with ESPN and COMSCORE, INC. in SEPTEMBER 2012. In the event that an FTC-approved third-party elects to agree to licensing terms and other requirements, NIELSEN would make available for license ARBITRON PPM and related data as well as software and technology currently being used in the ESPN project for the sole purpose of cross-platform measurement1 for up to eight years.
"We are very pleased with the FTC action, which meets our original expectations at the time of the merger agreement, " CALHOUN continued. "This is a highly acceptable outcome for us as it doesn’t change the market landscape and allows us to proceed with the deal,” continued. “The area of cross-platform measurement is still in its early stages and its value is yet to be determined by the market. We at NIELSEN look forward to pursuing the value of cross-platform services through our own unique offerings and expect that with our resources, our deep knowledge of video and our commitment to innovation, we will help the market ultimately define what cross-platform represents.”