Judge Tosses Arbitron Counter-Suit

United States District Judge Denise Cote rejected Arbitron’s attempt to stop New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo from suing the media research firm today (October 27) and allowed Cuomo’s lawsuit to proceed.

On October 10, Cuomo announced that his office had filed a lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court against Arbitron. Arbitron quickly responded by seeking a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and a preliminary injunction against the Attorney General.

In the lawsuit filed by Cuomo, he charged that Arbitron had deceptively claimed that the
Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings service was valid, fair and representative of diverse radio markets. Arbitron was also accused of failing to disclose important flaws in the methodology to broadcasters, advertisers, shareholders and the public, including shortcomings in the accuracy of the new system and its inadequate representation of African-Americans and Latinos.

In her decision, Judge Cote said Cuomo’s charges of fraudulent and deceptive business practices and civil right violations had raised “important state interests.”

On Monday afternoon (October 27), Arbitron responded to the Court’s decision with the following statement:

“Today’s ruling does not impact Arbitron’s right to publish our Portable People Meter audience estimates in New York. We asked the federal court to protect our right to provide the radio industry with the up-to-date PPM audience estimates it needs. Following our efforts, the New York Attorney General chose not to seek a temporary restraining order adversely impacting our right to produce PPM estimates. Now that Arbitron has commercialized the PPM service in New York and other key markets, we look forward to defending our interests. Broadcasters, agencies, and advertisers need continual PPM audience estimates if radio is to remain competitive in an increasingly complex and crowded media marketplace.”

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