FTC approves Nielsen acquisition of Arbitron

By Marc Castro

Sep 20, 2013 11:27 PM EDT

The US Federal Trade Commission recently approved the USD1.26 billion acquisition of Arbitron Inc by Nielsen Holdings NV. Nielsen is the biggest research firm tracking US television ratings.

The deal was cleared after Nielsen was required to divest and/or license its assets related to Arbitron's audience measurement services for different platforms. The process was formalized through a settlement agreement, as confirmed in a statement made today.

According to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, "The evidence provided us with a strong reason to believe that absent a remedy, the deal was likely to harm emerging competion in the ara of cross-platform audience measurement."

With the acquisition, Nielson would be able to offer advertisers a unified system in the measurement of audiences across multiple media platforms. This would allow advertisers an easier time in making decisions on advertising time be in on television, radio or online. The ratings firms sets the advertising costs for the USD70 billion US television advertising market. The company announced the acquisition of Arbitron last December, as the latter measures radio audience share.

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