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Reed Elsevier Files Lawsuit Against VNU

October 14, 2003|From Bloomberg News

The owner of the Hollywood Reporter, VNU, has been sued by the owner of rival Variety over a service that tracks the effectiveness of movie studio marketing.

Reed Elsevier claims ACNielsen Corp., a unit of VNU, controls 80% of the $90-million market for movie studio market research and is illegally attempting to eliminate competitors.

According to the lawsuit, ACNielsen's NRG unit is trying to force companies to stop providing data to Reed Elsevier's MarketCast service. Much of the research consists of customer surveys and focus groups.

"NRG's anti-competitive conduct" has "created a dangerous probability that NRG will succeed in monopolizing the relevant market," MarketCast said in the lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

ACNielsen is the largest tracker of U.S. television audiences.

Janine McCargo, a spokeswoman for VNU in New York, declined to comment.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order to void one NRG contract.

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