*Jupiter, Media Metrix to Merge

Internet research firm Jupiter Communications and measurement service firm Media Metrix this fall will merge into a single entity with 1,707 clients and 750 employees.The deal is contingent upon the approval from regulators and shareholders,

The $414 million stock deal will create Jupiter Media Metrix, a New York-based company offering services that span measurement, advice, events and analysis.

Tod Johnson, chairman/CEO of Media Metrix, will assume that title at Jupiter Media Metrix. Gene DeRose, chairman/CEO of Jupiter, will become vice chairman and president of the new company.

Mary Ann Packo of Media Metrix and Kurt Abrahamson of Jupiter, both presidents of their respective companies, will become co-chief operating officers at the new entity, whose combined market value is more than $1 billion.

“Our goal is to accelerate demand in future markets, regions, new technologies and emerging industries,” Packo said in a conference call yesterday. “Gene, Kurt and our respective teams have known each other and even collaborated on various projects during the year, which is just one of the reasons this merger makes sense.”

Both Johnson and DeRose said they will focus initially on upsells and cross-sells of both firms' services and products to existing clients. Only 200 of the companies’ combined 1,707 clients subscribe to all services.

Acquisitions were a crucial component of both Jupiter's and Media Metrix's growth strategy in the past year. Jupiter bought Internet Research Group and Net Market Makers to strengthen its presence in the business-to-business Internet market. Media Metrix's major acquisition was AdRelevance, an online ad-tracking service.

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