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Jupiter, Media Metrix Merge

In a marriage of statistics and research, Media Metrix and Jupiter Communications on Tuesday tied the knot, agreeing to merge in a stock swap valued at $414 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Jupiter shareholders will receive .946 share of Media Metrix stock for every share of Jupiter that they own. That values Jupiter at a premium -- about $3 a share. Jupiter closed on Monday at 23, and Media Metrix closed at 28 1/4.

The deal seems to make sense for both players, bringing together Media Metrix' statistical data about Internet audiences and advertisements, and Jupiter's industry research and trade show business. Both companies are often cited in the press for their statistics and predictions.

"Both organizations have been leaders and innovators in the digital economy, providing vital information to support clients business decisions. Together, we create the definitive source for Internet measurement and analysis as well as the ultimate platform for long-term growth," said Tod Johnson, chairman and chief executive of Media Metrix.

"The new company will accelerate the development of products and services, efficiently reach new customers and markets, and rapidly extend its leadership position worldwide providing increased value for clients, employees and shareholders."

The new company, to be called Jupiter Media Metrix and headquartered in New York City, will have a market capitalization of around $1 billion, and will have more than 1,700 clients and 730 employees worldwide. The firm will have 16 offices around the world.

Such a deal is an example of the consolidation going on in the current business climate, in which stock prices have been dropping, making mergers and acquisitions more attractive.

The new leadership looks like this: Tod Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Media Metrix, will become chairman and chief executive officer of the new company. Gene DeRose, chairman and chief executive officer of Jupiter, will become president and vice chairman of Jupiter Media Metrix. Mary Ann Packo, president and chief operating officer of Media Metrix, and Kurt Abrahamson, president and chief operating officer of Jupiter, will become co-chief operating officers of Jupiter Media Metrix, and will continue as presidents of their respective business units. Tom Lynch, chief financial officer of Media Metrix, will become the new company s chief financial officer, while Jean Robinson, Jupiters chief financial officer, will become executive vice president, business development.

Most of the brand names developed by the two companies will be retained in this merger. The company as a whole will take the names of its component companies, while divisions will keep names like Media Metrix, Jupiter, AdRelevance and Net Market Makers.