Is CMGI looking to go 24/7?

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Industry insiders speculated last month that CMGI would buyAdForce and its biggest customer, 24/7 Media, which uses AdForce to serve and manage advertising across its network of Web sites. The AdForce deal went down last week, and buzz is that CMGI now will buy 24/7--possibly before the end of October. Officials at 24/7 had no comment.

Bill White, CMGI executive VP-marketing and corporate communications, confirmed that CMGI is actively pursuing merging with or acquiring a Web ad network. "There are no definitive merger discussions with 24/7, but we are looking at most of the companies in that space," including 24/7, he said.

CMGI could benefit from the online ad sales reps a 24/7 deal would bring on board; they at some point could help CMGI sell space on recently acquired AltaVista, which has a contract with 24/7 rival DoubleClick expiring December 2001. AltaVista accounted for 43.8% of DoubleClick's systems revenues in the first half of the year.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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