Hearst invests in I/Pro

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Hearst Corp. has invested in Internet Profiles Corp., San Francisco, a provider of Web measurement and analysis to online publishers and marketers. The amount of the investment was undisclosed but I/Pro President Ariel Poler said the size of the stake was in the "single digits."

I/Pro provides Web site counting and auditing for a variety of clients, including CBS, CMP Publications, Starwave Corp., USA Today and Yahoo!, among others. Bringing Hearst on, Mr. Poler said, was a way to more closely align the company with Web publishers' traffic analysis needs.

"The reason we are taking the investment is we feel a need to get closer to the publishing world to satisfy their needs," he said, characterizing the investment as too small to cause any conflict with the other publishers I/Pro works with. Whether they agree remains to be seen, although Mr. Poler said he is in discussions with two other media companies about taking similar small stakes in the company.

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