FTC clears last Nielsen-Arbitron buy hurdle


FTC / Federal Trade CommissionFollowing a public comment period, the FTC has determined that Nielsen’s $1.26 billion buy of Arbitron was not anticompetitive. In November, the FTC gave the public more time to comment on the consent agreement for Nielsen’s acquisition, even though the Commission had approved the deal in October. At the time of the acquisition, Nielsen and Arbitron had both been developing syndicated cross-measurement platforms, and FTC was concerned that once the two platforms had been merged, Nielsen would demand clients pay more for the service.

Remember, under the deal terms, Nielsen will sell PPM-based radio and TV data to comScore for at least eight years. That determination allows comScore to continue building the Project Blueprint cross-media measurement service with Nielsen and ESPN. The FTC is now also seeking public comment on Nielsen’s request to sell its LinkMeter technology and related data rights to comScore as part of the consent order.