NEWS20 September 2010

Nielsen and Sunbeam ‘close’ to resolving anti-trust dispute

Legal North America

US— The long-running legal dispute between Nielsen and Sunbeam Television is a step closer to being resolved after both parties said that they are close to an agreement to settle the issues between them.

The wrangle began in May 2009 when Sunbeam filed anti-trust proceedings against Nielsen, claiming that the ratings giant was acting in an illegal monopoly and that the use of local people meters undercounted its audience in Florida. But a document filed last week with the Southern District Court of Florida states: “Parties indicated they believe they are close to agreement and the issues will be resolved.”

Sunbeam’s claims have twice been dismissed by the court, although the broadcaster was allowed to amend its complaint on both occasions. Nielsen has described the case as “utterly without merit” since proceedings were launched.

A court battle had seemed inevitable after the two firms failed to come to an agreement following a meeting with a mediator last month.