Jupiter Sells Media Metrix to Comscore

NEW YORK — Jupiter Media Metrix continued selling off its parts Thursday, as its Media Metrix Internet measurement service went to one of its rivals, comScore Networks.

The deal calls for comScore to purchase the North American assets of Media Metrix for $1.5 million. The Reston, Va.-based online research company plans to combine the new acquisition with its Media Solutions unit and rename the division, Media Metrix. It will be headed by Peter Daboll, formerly president of comScore’s Media Solutions, who will report to company president and CEO Magid Abraham.

About 40 Jupiter staffers will join comScore, which will establish a New York City office to accommodate them, said Dan Hess, vp at comScore. The company will also gain about 250 additional clients from the purchase.

The sale comes two years after Jupiter Communications merged with Media Metrix to create an Internet measurement and research firm with a market value of $1 billion. Soon after that, the Internet economy went south and with it, the company’s profitability.

After an aborted merger with NetRatings in February, Jupiter started shedding some of its units to improve its financial position. Since then, the New York-based company has sold its AdRelevance division and Media Metrix’s European contracts to NetRatings for a combined $10.5 million [IQ Daily Briefing, April 10, May 7].

“We want to bring in cash as quickly as possible, while ensuring a smooth transition for our clients, preserving as many jobs as possible and keeping brands in the marketplace,” said a Jupiter representative, adding that the company soon will change its name to reflect the absence of Media Metrix.

About 40 staffers from the Media Metrix division remain at Jupiter, but layoffs may eventually result from the sale, said the representative. As of May, the company claimed about 260 staffers globally.

Jupiter stock [JMXI] closed Friday at 32 cents, down one cent. Its 52-week high is $1.69; its 52-week low is ten cents.