The recent merger of United States Internet research firms Media Metrix and Jupiter Communications has raised questions about who will introduce Media Metrix's Internet tracking service in Asia. Jupiter has a representative firm based in Singapore, Strategic Intelligence. Its chief executive, Anthony Venus, said only 'the impact of the Jupiter-Media Metrix merger on Strategic Intelligence has not been discussed in detail'. He was unwilling to discuss the matter further. Media Metrix measures Internet traffic and audience size online. Its measurement data has become the de facto standard in determining the leading Web sites in the US. Many sites commonly refer to Media Metrix numbers as a way to market the popularity of their services. Media Metrix's primary competitor is AC Nielsen's NetRatings service. Similar to its measurements of television viewers, AC Nielsen's NetRatings measures Web traffic. While AC Nielsen's service is already available in Asia, research reports are available only on the Singapore and Australian markets. However, a similar service in Hong Kong has emerged. Interactive Audience Measurement Asia - or Iamasia - will be releasing its first reports on major portals in the mainland and Hong Kong this week. Jupiter has a 15 per cent stake in Strategic Intelligence, a research and consulting firm with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, and Mr Venus said last month his company was Jupiter's sole representative in Asia. However, Chinadotcom subsidiary Web Connection claims its agreement with Jupiter gives it the exclusive licence to distribute, resell and localise Jupiter's research in Greater China and South Korea. 'The difference between our agreement with Jupiter and Strategic Intelligence's is in terms of geography,' said Brian Ardinger, general manager of research for Web Connection. 'We can resell, distribute and localise Jupiter's research in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. I believe Strategic's deal with Jupiter is similar, but for the rest of Asia.' According to Mr Ardinger, the merger with Media Metrix will not affect Web Connection's agreement with Jupiter. 'Web Connection has a limited sales relationship with Jupiter. Jupiter has taken a minority stake in Strategic. There are no limitations on Strategic's sales relationship with Jupiter,' Strategic Intelligence's vice-president of human resources and operations Paul Feeney said. 'As far as we know, we can roll out in Greater China but we are not doing that yet as the strategy hasn't been defined.' Media Metrix bought Jupiter two weeks ago for US$414 million in stock to create a new company that will combine Internet tracking with market research and analysis. The merged company will be called Jupiter Media Metrix and, according to the companies, will have a combined market value of US$1 billion. The merger with Jupiter will allow Media Metrix to offer market research derived from its audience data - something the company could not previously do because of a perceived conflict of interest, according to analysts. Media Metrix studies more than 15,000 Web sites and online properties in the US, tracking the click-by-click activity of more than 40,000 Internet users at home, work and school using its proprietary system. The company sells its monthly and on-demand reports of Internet consumer behaviour to advertising agencies, financial institutions, Web media companies and technology firms. Media Metrix coined the term 'unique visitors' which counts the number of visitors a Web site gets in a day or a month. It does not count repeat visits. Earlier this year, Jupiter paid US$50.6 million in cash and stock to acquire privately held Internet Research Group and Net Market Makers in an attempt to offer more business-to-business research. Jupiter's main competitors include Forrester Research, The Yankee Group and International Data Corp.