June 6, 2002 4:45 PM PDT

Jupiter sells part of measurement unit

Jupiter Media Metrix sold parts of its flagship measurement business to rival ComScore Networks for $1.5 million, the two companies said Thursday.

Long-struggling Jupiter Media Metrix, based in New York, sold its Internet Audience Measurement service for the United States and Canada. The company still maintains its research unit. Under the deal, ComScore will acquire Jupiter's roughly 250 clients for audience measurement services.

Reston, Va.-based ComScore will immediately set up a Media Metrix Division, which will combine its Web ratings services with that of Media Metrix's. The unit will be headed by Peter Daboll, president of ComScore Networks' Media Solutions Division, and will retain several staff members from Media Metrix. ComScore plans to open a New York office to accommodate the transition.

Separately, ComScore announced that it raised $20 million from a group of investors that included Topspin Partners, vSpring Capital, Accel Partners, JP Morgan Partners/Flatiron Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, Lehman Brothers Venture Fund and Adams Street Partners. Since it's founding, it has landed a total of $76 million in investment.

The acquisition comes as no surprise as Jupiter Media Metrix has wrestled with finances since many of its dot-com customers fell apart. In recent months, the company has sold off several parts of its company to improve cash flow.

In April, rival Nielsen/NetRatings bought AdRelevance, Jupiter's online ad measurement unit, for $8.5 million. In May, it acquired Jupiter's European audience measurement clients for $2 million. Jupiter and NetRatings halted merger plans in February amid signs that regulators would challenge the deal. NetRatings had earlier agreed to pay $71.2 million for the entire company.

ComScore, which provides usage and behavioral data based on more than 1.5 million Web surfers, plans to maintain Media Metrix's North American consumer panel and its Random Digit Dial (RDD) sample design, which is comparatively based on usage data from tens of thousands of Web surfers. As a result, the company said it will provide a comprehensive look at at-work and at-home Net users.

"We are confident that Media Metrix will thrive as part of the ComScore organization," Jupiter Media Metrix CEO Robert Becker said in a statement. "Clients will continue to benefit from the Media Metrix products and services enhanced by ComScore's unique technology platform, complementary product offering, experienced staff and solid financial position."

 

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