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FTC Reviews Nielsen Proposal

Agency taking public comments on proposal to sell Nielsen LinkMeter to comScore

The Federal Trade Commission is taking public comments on Nielsen’s proposal to sell its LinkMeter cross-platform measurement product to comScore.

Nielsen closed on its acquisition of Arbitron last September, and the FTC required Nielsen to license Arbitron’s cross-platform measurement service to a third party for at least eight years for anti-monopoly purposes.

Former Arbitron executive Jay Guyther, now executive vice president/general manager of Mobile Research Labs, told Radio World in December that the FTC tapped him to monitor Nielsen’s compliance with the regulatory requirements of the Arbitron acquisition.

Nielsen has now identified the third party as comScore, saying both firms have signed an agreement for FTC compliance. Nielsen says the FTC arrangement was intended to preserve competition “by enabling the continuation of cross-platform measurement of media consumption across TV, radio, PCs, mobile devices and tablets.” Arbitron had announced such a deal in 2012 with comScore and ESPN.

The FTC, meanwhile, will decide whether to approve Nielsen’s proposed MediaLink sale to comScore after reviewing public comments. Those are due Feb. 24.