NetRatings Buys Remainder Of eRatings

By: Katy Bachman

(Mediaweek.com) Nielsen/NetRatings has acquired the 80.1% of ACNielsen eRatings.com that it doesn’t already own for $9.6 million in stock. The transaction allows NetRatings and eRatings to combine operations and consolidate their Internet measurement services. VNU has a 64% stake in NetRatings.

In a separate announcement, NetRatings and Jupiter Media Metrix have settled Jupiter’s pending patent infringement case against NetRatings for $15 million. As part of the settlement, NetRatings has acquired Jupiter Media Metrix’s contracts for European Internet audience measurement for $2 million.

Jupiter was also granted a non-exclusive, assignable license to use the patent technology for computer use tracking, until June 30, 2005. For the use of the patented technology, Jupiter will pay NetRatings $125,000 per month for the period July 1-September 30, 2002, $375,000 for the fourth quarter. For the next two years through June 30, 2005, the annual fee, payable quarterly will be $1.5 million, $1.75 million, and $1 million.

The deals come three months after the Federal Trade Commisson blocked NetRatings purchase of its competitor Jupiter Media Metrix for $71.2 million. As part of the original merger deal, NetRatings agreed to purchase the remaining shares of ACNielsen eRatings that it didn’t own, for $16.4 million in stock. That agreement was still pending, until Tuesday’s announcement.

In April, NetRatings purchased the assets of AdRelevance, a research service that tracks online advertising expenditures, from Jupiter Media Metrix, for $8.5 million.

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