IAR Bits and Bytes

DoubleClick Completes Acquisition of MessageMedia

DoubleClick has closed on its deal to buy email marketer MessageMedia, for which it ultimately paid $12.51 million in stock.

The New York-based online ad network and technology firm revised its purchase agreement with MessageMedia in October, trimming the amount it planned to pay for each share of the email marketer, from 4.36 percent of a DoubleClick share to 1.45 percent.

Previously, DoubleClick would have paid about $41 million in stock.

DoubleClick said it would work to integrate MessageMedia technology into its own operations and technologies. Already, the company operates an ASP-based email service, DARTmail. Now, the company gains a licensed software package as well.

“E-mail is a key initiative for DoubleClick in 2002 and the capabilities of MessageMedia will add to our suite of solutions,” said Court Cunningham, vice president and general manager of DoubleClick’s DARTmail technology unit. “In addition, MessageMedia’s experience in the European market will assist our expansion efforts in that region.

24/7 Real Media Touts Merger Benefits, New Wins, Voluntary Pay Decreases

The union of Real Media and 24/7 Media is producing better-than-expected results for the resulting Alley-based ad network and tech player.

Company spokespeople reported that the merged firm would save $30 million annually, due to a streamlining of operations. Shortly after the merger, the firm announced that it would consolidate its ad serving on Real Media’s OpenAdStream platform, dropping 24/7 Media’s Connect system.

24/7 Real Media also has said that it plans to reduce the size of its ad network to focus on higher-margin Web sites with more recognized brands.

Previously, the firm said it would save only about $10 million per year after the merger.

24/7 Real Media also announced several ad representation wins in Europe, including tucows.com and internet.com, the latter of which is a unit of INT Media Group, the publisher of this site. Both publishers will be represented by Real Media Europe.

The company also announced a voluntary program in which 24/7 Real Media employees could elect to receive stock in lieu of some portion of their salary. Executives including chief executive David Moore, chief operating officer Tony Plesner, chief financial Norman Blashka and general counsel Mark Moran have agreed to shed 20 percent of their pay in return for stock.

24/7 Real Media spokespeople painted the program as a sign of executives’ faith in the firm, rather than as a cost-saving measure.

Terra Lycos to Support Unicast Superstitial Across U.S. Sites

Madrid-based Web portal and ISP Terra Lycos will now begin selling rich media interstitials from Unicast across all the sites it operates in the U.S.

As a result, Waltham, Mass.-based Lycos.com becomes the first major domestic portal to become certified to handle Unicast’s Superstitial format across it and its affiliated sites, including Wired News, Gamesville.com, Tripod.com and MatchMaker.com.

New York-based Unicast, which in early December secured patents for its rich media ad technology, said the news meant good things for advertisers — and the Web advertising industry at large.

“It is a great sign of the industry’s maturation that Terra Lycos, as one of the most influential online media organizations, has made the integration and selling of the Superstitial across all domestic channels a priority,” said Allie Shaw, who is vice president for global marketing at Unicast. “The industry must make traditional advertisers’ needs a top priority in order for it to achieve its fullest potential. Terra Lycos’ level of commitment to the Superstitial reveals the network’s dedication not only to its own bottom line, but equally as important, to its advertisers.”

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