Piper Jaffray Companies

Columbia-based Arbitron to be acquired by Nielsen

Columbia-based Arbitron to be acquired by Nielsen

The company that helps TV networks determine what shows get canceled or live for another season is buying the Columbia-based company that helps radio stations decide whether to change formats.

Nielsen Holdings of TV ratings fame announced Tuesday that it agreed to pay $1.26 billion in cash for Arbitron Inc., the company that measures radio audiences.

The deal brings together the largest audience research firms for two of the largest entertainment media. It gives Nielsen entry to the radio market and allows Arbitron, which largely operates in North America, to piggyback on Nielsen's global reach.

The combination will receive antitrust review from the U.S. Justice...