One likely result of New Delhi Television of India launching a $1 billion-plus, 194-page lawsuit against the Nielsen Company is that it will set off a protracted legal battle in the city where the global marketing and advertising firm is headquartered.
However, today it became equally evident that questions may be raised on the very choice of New York City as the venue for the filing, specifically focussing on why this was the case when the dispute appears to be between two India-based entities, NDTV and Television Audience Measurement, a joint venture between Nielsen and Kantar Media Research.
Responding to a query from The Hindu on the NDTV’s allegations that Nielsen had violated the U.S.’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “by manipulating viewership data in favour of channels that are willing to provide bribes to its officials,” a company spokesperson reiterated its “longstanding policy of not commenting on pending legal matters.”
Yet the choice of New York City as the location for the lawsuit appeared to be a likely target of upcoming legal arguments and it is possible that Nielsen will suggest that the dispute in India “has nothing to do with Nielsen U.S. rating service.”
While Nielsen may argue that it had provided its expertise to help TAM “in good faith” to work with TAM’s Indian clients “one entity which is very dissatisfied with the ratings” may be trying to generate headlines in its favour by pressing the case in New York, it has been suggested.
It is quite likely that in any case Nielsen will be making a formal statement clarifying such questions in the coming days.