Shareholders Seek Class Certification in Lawsuit against Nielsen Holdings

The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi and Monroe County Employees’ Retirement System filed a memorandum of law in support of their motion for class certification, appointment of class representatives, and appointment of class counsel in their case against Nielsen Holdings PLC in the Southern District of New York on Thursday. This comes after the court granted and denied in part Nielsen’s motion to dismiss.

Nielsen is a data analytics company that “provides its customers with information about consumer preferences and the programming consumers watch and listen to” with two main reporting segments: Buy and Watch. As detailed in the memorandum of law, the plaintiffs and putative class are shareholders of Nielsen who alleged the company violated the Securities Exchange Act. 

The plaintiffs claimed that Nielsen “made materially false and misleading statements and omissions about Nielsen’s Buy business.” In their “Buy Developing Markets” section, they claimed this group of clients were “stable” while “business was in a steady decline due to falling demand for Nielsen’s analytics products.” Nielsen’s stock price reportedly “plummeted” by 17% on October 25th, 2016 as a result of this news becoming public.

The plaintiffs supported claims that they should receive class certification by describing the numerosity of the group, common cause through loss of stock prices,  and the typicality and qualifications of the class representatives. They also used the Cammer and Krogman tests for market efficiency, which therefore allows the plaintiffs to rely on the “fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Labaton Sucharow LLP and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP. Nielsen is represented by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.