Court Throws Out $1B NDTV Suit Against Nielsen, WPP
A New York Court has dismissed a $1 billion lawsuit by Indian TV network New Delhi Television against Nielsen and WPP and several subsidiaries for breach of contract and negligence in connection with a TV ratings service that the companies operate in India.
NDTV said it would appeal the decision.
The New York State Supreme Court indicated that New York was not the appropriate venue for the suit, ruling that since the ratings company joint venture run by WPP and Nielsen -- known as TAM -- is based in India, that’s where the suit should be contested. The decision was read to the parties who appeared in court late Monday. The formal written decision has not been issued yet.
Nielsen and WPP said they were pleased with the decision. WPP stated that the court “dismissed the case on the grounds that the case could not be brought in New York and also because NDTV failed to state any valid claim against either WPP or Kantar.”
But NDTV issued a statement saying the court focused on the venue and not the merits of the case.
“The lower court in New York felt that India would be a more
convenient forum than the U.S. NDTV disagrees and will appeal against this decision,” the company stated. It believes "this lower court's decision is based on several misconceptions, legal and
factual errors, and this will be outlined in the appeal.”
Nielsen stated: “We believe that this claim should never have been brought against Nielsen in New York.”
NDTV filed the suit last summer, alleging that the ratings system was highly inaccurate and that over a period of years, it lost hundreds of millions in ad revenue as a result. The network said it brought the system’s inadequacies to the attention of Nielsen and WPP, with officials at the companies allegedly acknowledging the problems and promising to fix them. But then they didn’t follow through, NDTV alleged, forcing it to sue.
WPP and Nielsen, in separate briefs, asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that NDTV’s allegations were unfounded and that in any event, the proper venue for the suit was India, where the alleged illegalities occurred.