The FTC has approved Nielsen's acquisition of former audience metrics rival Arbitron, after securing an agreement that Nielsen will continue the "Portable People Meter" (PPM) project, and license its use to others (notably competitor comScore). The PPM project was originally a joint project of Nielsen, Arbitron, and comScore, and there was some concern that Nielsen would try to freeze out comScore. ComScore and Nielsen are also involved in the competition to develop industry standards for online video metrics.
“In the event that an FTC-approved third-party elects to agree to licensing terms and other requirements, Nielsen would make available for license Arbitron PPM and related data as well as software and technology currently being used in the ESPN project for the sole purpose of cross-platform measurement for up to eight years,” Nielsen said in its statement.While that wording sounds awfully restrictive, other language from the FTC indicated that comScore would clearly get that initial license.
With the FTC's approval, Nielsen's acquisition of Arbitron is expected to close Sept. 30.
Source - FTC Clears Nielsen-Arbitron Deal, comScore Retains PPM License, MediaDailyNews