Experian has moved into the fast-growing Internet measurement sector with the $240m (£120m) all-cash purchase of Hitwise, a specialist in tracking how people use the web. The price paid represents about 16 times forecast earnings before interest and tax for the year to March 2008.  It reflects the high current valuations of companies supplying data to analyze and improve internet advertising, which is now a bigger UK marketing medium than national newspapers.  The annual subscription for Hitwise services average $35,000.  The service analyzes, on a daily basis the websites, customers are surfing and the terms they use on search engines such as Google.  Hitwise customers, which are split between the US, UK and Australia, are large web companies such as Ebay or advertisers trying to attract more internet users.  Analysts’ reactions to the deal were mixed, particularly because of the price paid for nine-year-old Hitwise, which made a “small profit” last year.  Source: Experian Press Release www.experian.com

BIIA Newsletter May – 2007 Issue