Buy Boosts Terra Lycos’ Targeted Ad Technology

Terra Lycos , a Spanish Internet service provider and site network operator, has opened its $1.86 billion war chest to buy online direct marketer GetRelevant.

The price tag for the 3-year-old, privately held San Francisco firm was not disclosed. The buy was made with cash. Neither company immediately responded to requests for additional details of the deal.

In a statement, Stephen Killeen, president of Terra Lycos U.S., said, “With GetRelevant we are adding a high-value product that increases our inventory, gives our customers opportunities for better conversion rates and differentiates us in the industry.”

The new software will help Terra Lycos advertisers, including Barnes & Noble, Orbitz and Scottrade, tailor and serve pitches to new users. What’s more, the technology includes advanced tracking and reporting features to gauge the effectiveness of ad strategies.

When users register with one of Terra Lycos’ properties, say investment site Ragingbull or site building tool Tripod, they will be presented with highly targeted offers from advertisers. Once a consumer accepts, they are prompted for additional data.

Terra Lycos will integrate GetRelevant’s technology throughout its network and continue to expand GetRelevant’s current network (about 100 sites) providing a significant reach for new and existing clients.

The company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Mass., has been selective in making acquisitions, picking up firms because of their technology or geographic market, such as Decompras.

While working to wean itself from ad revenues by instituting paid subscriptions for premium content and services, such as music, Terra Lycos is still dependent on its sponsors.

According to the company’s most recent quarterly report, advertising, marketing, e-commerce and subscriptions accounted for 60 percent of the firm’s revenues, while Internet access fees made up the remaining 40 percent.

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