Federal court dismisses antitrust claims against Nielsen


The Nielsen Company today announced that the US District Court in the Southern District of Florida has dismissed all federal and state antitrust claims brought against the company by The Sunbeam Television Corporation. Sunbeam’s lawsuit concerned television ratings in the Miami market, where it owns WSVN-TV (Fox).

According to Nielsen, the federal court held that Sunbeam failed to show that any competitor was “willing and able” to enter the local television ratings market in Miami and was excluded from that market by Nielsen. The court also determined that Sunbeam could not prove that the current ratings for Sunbeam’s local station WSVN are less accurate than they would be under a prospective competitor’s methodology, Nielsen said.

Sunbeam, owned by Ed Ansin, plans to appeal the dismissal.

This does not, however, end the litigation in Miami. The judge deferred ruling on the remaining ancillary claims, including breach of contract and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, until a supplemental briefing has been submitted and considered later this month.