MANHATTAN (CN) – A federal judge dismissed a leading Spanish newspaper’s defamation claim against Nielsen ratings service. El País claimed Nielsen underestimated the visitors to its Web site, elpais.com, costing the newspaper ad money and hurting its reputation and business relations.
U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. granted Nielsen’s motion to dismiss. Nielsen said El País should have sued Netratings Spain, a Spanish corporation and “distant affiliate” of Nielsen; that El País improperly presented contract claims as tort claims; and that “even if Defendant did owe Plaintiffs an independent duty not covered by the contract, the allegedly libelous speech is protected by the First Amendment. For the reasons discussed below,” Judge Baer wrote, “Defendant’s motion is granted.”