News story

Media intelligence merger referred for in-depth CMA investigation

The proposed merger of data company Nielsen and the advertising intelligence division of Ebiquity has been referred for an in-depth investigation.

Data analysis

Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) initial investigation identified competition concerns resulting from this merger as both companies are the only suppliers of detailed advertising intelligence across a broad range of UK media. While they face some competition from firms offering this service for digital advertising, no firm competes with Nielsen and Ebiquity for detailed intelligence across all UK media channels.

The CMA also found that the companies are each other’s closest competitor in the supply of intelligence on international advertising to UK customers, and that they face only limited competition from other suppliers for this service.

The CMA said it would refer the merger for an in-depth (phase 2) investigation unless both parties offered acceptable undertakings to address these concerns. Nielsen and Ebiquity have not offered any undertakings and the CMA will now refer the merger for an in-depth investigation by an independent group of panel members, supported by a team of CMA staff. The team has 24 weeks to complete the process.

Further information about the investigation will be published on the case page.

Published 25 June 2018