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Experian to Buy Hitwise

April 19 2007

A fortnight after the announced flotation of rival comScore, online audience measurement firm Hitwise is to be acquired by information giant Experian, in a $240m cash deal which will close in May.

Hitwise assesses the performance of web sites and search engines using information gathered from Internet service provides, and claims to monitor more than a million sites each day. The resulting data is sold to online marketing companies and its 1,200 clients including Google, eBay, HSBC, CBS News and Ikea. It is reported to have expanded its customer base by more than 40% in the last two years.

Don Robert, CEO of Experian, commented: 'We have been successfully repositioning our Marketing Solutions business to meet our clients' needs as they continue to switch more of their advertising spend online. Hitwise brings new, unique data to Experian and complements the existing data, tools and expertise that we already offer to clients in other areas such as research services and email distribution.'

Hitwise employs 200 staff in its New York headquarters and operations in London and Melbourne. Its sales for the year ended March 2007 are expected to be around $40 million, and Experian believes it can generate $12 million to $15 million profit in the current year.

Andrew Walsh, CEO of Hitwise, said that the acquisition will further Hitwise's growth and profitability through access to Experian's pool of data, tool and clients.

Hitwise monitors how 25 million consumers use and search the Internet, providing data which enables companies to determine which are the best web sites on which to advertise, which search engines drive traffic to their sites and which key words are most effective. The firms are online at www.hitwise.com and www.experian.com .

comScore announced in the first week of April that it was headed for a Nasdaq flotation - www.mrweb.com/drno/news6633.htm .

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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