Nielsen, IRI Joint Venture for Consumer Shopping Panels

Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and The Nielsen Co. (Nielsen) have formed a U.S. production joint venture to recruit, maintain and process data from a common set of households to support the Nielsen Homescan and IRI Consumer Network panels, which will continue to be operated by their respective companies. The pool of households will be owned by the joint venture, but the techniques used for projecting, analyzing and delivering insights will remain proprietary to each company.

The joint venture, owned 50-50, will be established using the existing Nielsen household sample and data acquisition infrastructure and will begin operation during the first quarter of 2010. The joint venture will draw from a subset of existing IRI households to replace panelists as they naturally drop from the original sample. A complete history of data (five years of back data) will be available to both Nielsen and IRI, and each company will use its own unique intellectual property (data reference, projections, technology, etc.) to produce delivery of its respective consumer panel.

Under the joint venture agreement, Nielsen receives 100 percent of the targeted 100,000-plus households and IRI has access to 86 percent, with the right to acquire up to 100 percent after two years. The joint venture will be governed by a board, equally represented by IRI and Nielsen officers, and an independent chief executive officer to be recruited from outside both companies.

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