Arbitron Spends Millions To Persuade FTC To OK Nielsen Buy

It’s not cheap working to get the government to clear a high-profile transaction. As Arbitron worked to gain acceptance for its proposed   Nielsen deal, it incurred $6.1 million in expenses in the April-June period.

Year-to-date, the company has spent $9.4 million in hiring consultants, lawyers and other expenses looking to persuade the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to allow Nielsen to buy it for $1.26 billion. Of course, that's on top of all that money spent last year before the deal was announced.

Then again, that's where shareholders stand to get about a 26% premium on the share price the day before the acquisition was announced late last year.

With the acquisition-related expenses a drag, Arbitron’s net income dropped to $7.1 million in the second quarter, down from $10 million last year in the period. Revenue rose 2.9% to $107.4 million.

Like Nielsen, Arbitron has had to answer a second request for information from the FTC as the agency evaluates the merger’s market impact. An indication of the government’s stance is expected this month.

One of the things the government is likely evaluating is the impact the deal could have on cross-platform measurement. Arbitron continues to invest in the field, putting forth $3.3 million in the second quarter by one metric in relation to cross-platform and Arbitron Mobile initiatives. That was down from $3.6 million last year.

As far as its core radio measurement business, Arbitron continues to look for ways to capture digital streaming.

“As the media and advertising marketplaces continue to evolve and new technologies permit consumers to consume content virtually anytime and anywhere, it is important we keep pace with these changes to ensure radio gets full credit for its audience -- regardless of the delivery platform,” stated CEO Sean Creamer



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