In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has determined that Ebiquity's proposed sale of its Advertising Intelligence (AdIntel) division to Nielsen may give rise to competition concerns.
The AdIntel business, with locations in the UK, Australia, Germany and the US, generated unaudited revenues of £21.9m in 2017 and operating profit of £4.4m before the allocation of central overheads. First announced in February, Ebiquity says the £26m sale would allow it to focus on its faster growing, higher margin, tech-enabled consultancy practices, Media Value Measurement and Marketing Performance Optimization, while its remaining Market Intelligence business remains focused on data capture and storage.
In a statement, CMA pointed out that Nielsen and Ebiquity are the only suppliers of ad intelligence across a broad range of UK media. While they face some competition from firms offering this service for digital advertising, CMA believes that no firm competes with Nielsen and Ebiquity for detailed intelligence across all UK media channels and therefore found competition may be 'significantly reduced' if the merger went ahead as planned. 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.
CMA will go ahead with a more in-depth investigation if Nielsen and Ebiquity cannot offer a solution to these concerns before 20th June, but the firms have already said they will aim to address them.
Web sites: www.ebiquity.com and www.nielsen.com .