On August 28, 2018, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against Nielsen Holdings PLC (“Nielsen”) and some of its officers and directors for making allegedly materially false and misleading statements to investors about the impact of privacy regulations and third-party business partners’ privacy policies on the company’s revenues and earnings. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

The complaint alleges that Nielsen made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Nielsen recklessly disregarded its readiness for and the true risks of privacy-related regulations and policies, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), on its current and future financial and growth prospects; (2) Nielsen’s financial performance was far more dependent on Facebook and other third-party large data set providers than previously disclosed, and privacy policy changes affected the scope and terms of access Nielsen would have had to third-party data; and (3) access to Facebook and other third-party provider data was becoming increasingly restricted for Nielsen and Nielsen clients. Plaintiffs allege that, as a result, Nielsen’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

The complaint maintains that, because of Nielsen’s “material misrepresentations and omissions, Nielsen stock traded at artificially inflated prices.” The complaint further alleges that when Nielsen published its financial results for the second quarter of 2018 announcing that it missed revenue and earnings targets, its stock plummeted, which caused substantial harm to the plaintiffs who were investors in Nielsen stock. In that announcement, Nielsen cited the impact of the GDPR on the company’s results and announced that its CEO and Executive Chairman, Mitch Barns, would retire from the company at the end of 2018.

Read the complaint.