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Hearst buys an Internet marketing company

NEW YORK, June 3 – The Hearst Corporation has concluded a deal to buy Internet marketing company iCrossing in a transaction valued at between 325 and 400 million dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

"This move today is further diversification of our lines of business," Hearst CEO Frank Bennack told the newspaper.

"We know that our marketing partners will welcome this, and already ask us on occasion for services we haven\’t been able to deliver."

Hearst, which publishes Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines, has been pursuing iCrossing for several months. The firm advises marketers on buying Web-search keywords, crafting websites and tracking brands online.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the deal, said the purchase was set at 325 million dollars, with the possibility of it going up to 400 million dollars if certain financial objectives are met.

Hearst, a privately held company founded by legendary press baron William Randolph Hearst, is one of the biggest US media companies.

Its properties include the San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Denver Post, television chains and Internet sites.

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