|New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said he will sue Arbitron Inc. for fraudulent business practices over the company's new method of rating radio broadcasting, which he said seem unfair to minority stations.|
Cuomo sent a letter dated yesterday to New York-based Arbitron saying its electronic ``portable people'' meter system ``appears to contain design flaws that will disproportionately impact minority communities, broadcasters and businesses.'' He accused the company of violating civil rights and business laws.
Arbitron, a provider of radio-station ratings based on audience size, intends to begin using the meter in New York on Oct. 8, Cuomo wrote. The meters are mobile-phone size devices carried by listeners that pick up information identifying radio stations, according to the company Web site.
The new method may not adequately represent young black and Hispanic listeners, mobile-phone-only households which tend to have young and minority-group people, and non-English-speakers, he said. He also said the company doesn't adequately recruit to represent the diversity of minority listeners.
Arbitron ``denies all such allegations and intends to defend itself and its interests vigorously,'' the company said today in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
This goes back to complaints of discrimination because ratings dropped when it moves from the diary method to this PPM system. So Cuomo trots out the Spitzer S.O.P of trying not only a shakedown of the company but to come up with a method that favors minority groups instead of actually trying to figure out if the system works as advertised.
|Cuomo claimed in his letter to Arbitron Chairman Stephen B. Morris and chief legal officer Timothy T. Smith that the company may have violated the state's executive and general business laws by misleading people into thinking the methodology is fair, reliable and accredited.|
Cuomo said the Media Ratings Council Inc., the primary accrediting agency for such services in the U.S., hasn't accredited the meter.
Cuomo also claims Arbitron violated the law by making representations to shareholders about the reliability and scheduled launch of the meter, inflating the price of Arbitron common stock, without disclosing adverse information.
Right there is the abuse of power because he wants shareholders to pressure Arbitron to conform to a friendler system.