CMA provisionally clears sale of Ebiquity's advertising intelligence business

11 October 2018

(Sharecast News) - Media and marketing consultancy Ebiquity rallied on Thursday as the Competition and Markets Authority provisionally approved the sale of its advertising intelligence business to Nielsen Media on an unconditional basis.
Chief executive officer Michael Karg said: "We are encouraged by the CMA's provisional findings report following its in-depth investigation. The planned disposal of Advertising Intelligence to Nielsen will allow Ebiquity to continue investment in its core consultancy practices, better align the business to the significant market growth opportunities and materially reduce net debt."

The CMA - which referred the sale for an in-depth investigation amid concerns that the merged company would face little competition from other suppliers - said it has provisionally found that the design of the products, how they are used and the fact that very few customers switch between the companies mean 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," the CMA said.

"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."

Ebiquity said on Thursday that it "looks forward to continuing to engage with the CMA" as it works towards its final report ahead of the 9 December statutory deadline.

At 1135 BST, the shares were up 16% to 70p.