Nielsen and Ebiquity gather, collate and analyse information on the advertising activity of companies in the UK and overseas.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) referred the merger for an in-depth investigation following concerns that the merged company would face little competition from other suppliers for this service.
Although both Nielsen and Ebiquity sell advertising intelligence products to UK and international customers, an independent inquiry group of CMA panel members has provisionally found that the design of the products, how they are used and the fact that very few customers switch between the companies means they don’t closely compete. This finding was supported by the fact that they have not invested significant amounts of money or resources in competing for each other’s customers and, according to internal documents, are unlikely to do so in the future.
This provisional clearance takes into account the declining demand for advertising research relating to traditional media – such as TV, radio and print – as online and social media continue to grow in importance and take a greater share of total advertising spend. This has put pressure on both companies, which provide intelligence on traditional media.
The CMA is now asking for views on these provisional findings by 1 November 2018 and will assess all the evidence before making a final decision. The statutory deadline for the CMA’s final report is 9 December 2018.
Further details are available on the merger inquiry case page.