NetRatings acquires eRatings from AC Nielsen

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Milpitas, Calif.--Internet research company NetRatings Inc. has acquired the eRatings measurement service from AC Nielsen for $9.6 million in stock. ERatings is a joint venture of AC Nielsen and NetRatings that provides Internet audience measurement outside the U.S.

Under the deal, NetRatings acquired the 80.1% interest in eRatings that it did not already own. On Monday, NetRatings Inc. announced it was buying DoubleClick's @Plan products in an $18.5 million cash and stock deal.

NetRatings late Tuesday announced the conclusion of its long-standing patent infringement suit against Jupiter Media Metrix. The companies jointly agreed to a $15 million cash settlement payable to Jupiter Media Metrix. As part of the settlement, NetRatings acquired Jupiter's patents for computer use tracking and granted Jupiter a non-exclusive license to use the technology for its domestic audience-measurement business until 2005.

Jupiter filed the patent infringement suit against NetRatings in March 2001. Despite the legal dispute, the two companies in October forged an agreement to merge that involved NetRatings' acquiring its competitor for $70 million. The Federal Trade Commission scuttled those plans in February by disallowing a $25 million bridge loan to Jupiter. Separately, NetRatings acquired Jupiter's European Internet audience-measurement business and related assets for $2 million in cash.

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