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Online ad companies to merge

Two firms that provide software and services for online advertising are scheduled to announce tomorrow that they will merge.

Two firms that provide software and services for online advertising are scheduled to announce tomorrow that they will merge.

ClickOver, which provides ad management software for Web sites, and Focalink Communications, a services firm for advertisers and ad agencies, will combine their businesses under a new corporate name yet to be announced. The merged entity will become the first ad firm to provide services both to Web publishers and advertisers, the companies said.

Terms of the merger were not disclosed. The companies were financed by venture capital firms, ClickOver by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Focalink by Mayfield Fund. The combined company, with 50-plus employees, will operate from Palo Alto, California, where both firms are based.

The merger will take place amid a boom in the Web advertising industry. Online ad revenues for the second quarter rose 313 percent increase over the same period in 1996, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. Research firm Jupiter Communications projects Web ad spending to exceed $4 billion in 2000.

Scott Kauffman, ClickOver's CEO and a former CompuServe executive, will run the combined company. Ron Kovas, Focalink chief executive, will become executive vice president of business development.