Sunbeam Television Corp. v. Nielsen Media Research, Inc.

In January 2011, the U.S. District Court (Southern District of Florida) granted summary judgment in favor of Compass Lexecon’s client, Nielsen, on Sunbeam’s antitrust claims. Sunbeam, operator of the FOX television affiliate in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, alleged that Nielsen, a provider of television audience measurement services, had unlawfully maintained monopoly power through, among other practices, the introduction of a new audience measurement technology (which adversely affected Sunbeam’s ratings and advertising revenue). Nielsen retained Professor Daniel Rubinfeld and Compass Lexecon to evaluate causation and damages issues. Consistent with Professor Rubinfeld’s opinions, the Court concluded that Sunbeam failed to demonstrate that any of Nielsen’s allegedly anticompetitive practices had excluded a viable competitor or caused Sunbeam antitrust injury in the form of decreased advertising revenue. Compass Lexecon was retained by Aidan Synnott at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Professor Rubinfeld was supported by Bret Dickey, Kun Huang, and a team in the Oakland office.