WPP Group plc. - s.87B undertaking

Company or individual details

  • WPP Group plc.


WPP Group plc. (WPP) proposes to acquire Taylor Nelson Sofres plc. (TNS). WPP has offered the ACCC a section 87B undertaking (undertaking) in response to ACCC concerns about the impact that the proposed acquisition may have on the national market for the provision of Television Audience Measurement (TAM) services.

The European Commission has accepted an undertaking from WPP that it will divest either its 50 per cent AGB Nielsen Shareholding (to Nielsen), or the TAM services business currently owned and operated by TNS in the European Economic Area (the TNS divestment business).  Although they are located in Europe, the assets in the TNS divestment business are crucial to TNS’s ability to bid for Australian TAM contracts.

WPP has offered additional court-enforceable undertakings to the ACCC under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974. Broadly, the undertakings require divestiture of:

  • WPP’s 50 per cent shareholding in the AGB Nielsen Australian Business; or
  • the TNS divestment business.

The undertaking adequately addresses the ACCC’s competition concerns. The ACCC considers that either divestiture would ensure the acquisition will not substantially lessen competition, since there will continue to be two strong competitors capable of competing for TAM services in Australia, as there are pre-acquisition.