Milipitas, Calif.--In a major deal underscoring consolidation in the e-consultancy marketplace, NetRatings Inc., a Web measurement company, plans to buy New York-based Jupiter Media Metrix Inc., an Internet analysis company, in a stock and cash deal valued at $71.2 million.Jupiter will give NetRatings extended reach into technology research and such lucrative industries as financial services and consulting. Jupiter has made recent moves to make itself a more attractive takeover target, including laying off 30% of its workers earlier this month.The combined company will have an extensive presence in Internet audience measurement, expertise in great demand by b-to-b clients, which are keen on spending their dwindling online advertising budgets only on sites that can deliver potentially lucrative audiences and return on investment. It is unclear whether NetRatings, which was advised on the acquisition by Lehman Bros. Holding Inc., will let Jupiter retain its name. The deal may put pressure on other high-profile Internet research firms, including Forrester Research Inc., to consider merging with a larger company.
--Philip B. Clark