GDPR creates shareholder revolt over alleged ‘misleading’ GDPR statement

Nielsen said it was ready for GDPR, then blamed the regulation for causing it to post results which were below expectations. Now a shareholder is suing.

“The GDPR has been more of a non…event from our side as compared to how it played out for some others,” said a statement from Nielsen, the market research and analysis company, earlier this year. A company representative also said: “GDPR — we’ve been focused on this for some time…. We’re ready. And we don’t see any significant impact for our . . . business.”

And “We still have access to all the data that we’re going to need for our products. So yes, we’re in good shape.”

Yet, when the company released disappointing financial results recently, and the share price fell sharply, it blamed GDPR.

“Our results are significantly below our expectations as revenues were impacted by GDPR and changes to the consumer data privacy landscape. We have several hundred clients and data partners in this space, and market changes have been disruptive,” it said to the press.

Now, a shareholder in the company, Arun Bhattacharya, is suing the firm, its CEO and CFO, alleging that they deliberately made misleading statements on the extent of the firm’s readiness for GDPR.

Bhattacharya said that Nielsen “significantly missed the company’s public net income and free cash flow estimates by a wide margin” and that it, “placed the blame squarely on the effectiveness of GDPR which it had assured investors it was ‘ready for.’”

For the case, see this from the United States District Court Southern District of New York.

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