FTC green lights the Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB) and NLSN get together


Dallas, Texas 09/24/2013 (Financialstrend) – On September 20, the Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB) reported that Nielsen Hldg NV (NYSE:NLSN) has got the go ahead from the Federal Trade Commission to complete its acquisition of the company.  To bring the readers up to speed, a quick recap on the acquisition deal. In December’12 the two companies had signed off on a deal whereby Nielson would acquire all outstanding shares of Arbitorn for a sum of $1.3 billion. At that time it was disclosed that the payment would be made in through cash and by leveraging debt instruments. It was summarized by both companies that their coming together would create synergies leading to a more complete capture and holistic measurement of viewership data and customer choices from across the globe. It was also announced that the combined entity would be able to track new audiences from the online streaming video services which are served up on tablets and smart phones.

The Federal trade commission’s September 20 order effectively insulates the existing “cross platform” viewership capturing mechanism that Arbitorn had launched with much fanfare in association with ESPN in September’12. As per the FTC order, if a new entity comes forward to operate the cross platform measurement that was being done by the “ESPN project”, then the new combined Nielsen/Arbitorn entity would be duty bound to enter into a licensing and data transfer agreement with that company. It is also expected to provide the new company with software and technology support. This entire transaction will happen under the stewardship of FTC and the new company will have a window of up to 8 years to leverage the licensing agreement.

The share price of Arbitorn was up close to 1% in the last five days of trading. As of close of business on September 23, the stock of ARB was trading at $47.99 up 0.82% from its previous day close.