TV ratings giant Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron

December 18, 2012 by

NEW YORK CITY -- According to press releases issued by both companies, television ratings giant Nielsen "has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Arbitron," the leader in radio ratings data.

Nielsen says it has financing in place to acquire Arbitron at $48 per share, "a premium of approximately 26 percent" over yesterday's $38.04 closing price.

The press release -- identical on both company websites -- says boards of both companies have approved the deal, and now only awaits "customary closing conditions, including regulatory review."

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2 comments on “TV ratings giant Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron”

  1. Good question. Don't have a definitive answer, but I don't think it would qualify as a monopoly. Big picture, both companies are not just "ratings" companies, but "market research" firms. Sure, there are only a tiny handful of companies known for measuring broadcast audiences, but there are plenty of market research firms out there. Theoretically, if customers got fed up with Nielsen, there's nothing stopping another company from competing. (I would have to guess that's how Eastlan Ratings, which provides an alternative to the Arb in select markets including Syracuse and Utica-Rome, came into existence.) Granted, it might be difficult to unseat a company with as much momentum and dominance as Nielsen, but it's not like they have total control over a commodity that nobody else can offer.


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