Friday, September 6, 2013

Report: Nielsen, Feds Negotiating Concessions For Arbitron

Nielsen Holdings NV, seeking to form a company able to measure audiences across TV, radio, the Web and mobile, is negotiating concessions with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that would permit its $1.26 billion acquisition of Arbitron Inc., two people with knowledge of the talks told

The discussion centers on a requirement for the combined company to license measurement technology to ComScore Inc. (SCOR), in addition to researchers, television networks and other parties, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations weren’t public. A consent order could become public within the month after Nielsen said Aug. 30 it agreed to extend the review period into September, without setting a specific date.

While the situation remains fluid, the talks are a positive sign for Nielsen, one of the people said. An agreement would be a win for the company, whose ratings help set rates for $70 billion in U.S. television advertising.

Nielsen is seeking to overcome objections from the FTC, competitors including ComScore and TV networks such as Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN.

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