ComScore Explains $44 Million Purchase Of M:Metrics: “This Puts Us Two Years Ahead”

Magid Abraham, comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) president, CEO and co-founder, explained this morning in a conference call why his company, focused on tracking content online, was interested in buying Seattle-based M:Metrics, which tracks mobile usage. “It makes us the immediate leader in the mobile market.., and “accelerates the comScore global footprint to help us realize the strategic goal on a faster schedule and at greater scale than we could with the technology we are developing internally.” Investor Call.

On Adding Mobile: “This accelerates our entry into mobile. It would be fair to say this puts us two years ahead of where we would have been if we were developing and executing our own internal plans.” He said they’ll have a large customer base and have better information about wireless devices that goes beyond Internet usage. “Two years is an eternity in this market, so we are excited about where this puts us compared to our previous plans.”

The Competitive Environment: Abraham wasn’t shy about dismissing Telephia, which was bought by Nielsen last year. “Based on our conversations with clients, and what I think we know about Telephia (Nielsen) in this space, it is very clear that M:Metrics is a significant leader and had a headstart over everyone else.” He said from his understanding Telephia only has a meter that runs on CDMA handsets, whereas the meter M:Metrics uses works on both CDMA and GSM phones. “Last year, we tried to offer a joint product [with Telephia], and we know from that experience the customer pick up was pretty low.”

On Cost Synergies: Abraham said he expects to be able to save money by using the panel that comScore already has to find out mobile information as well. He said there will also be some real estate consolidation, and they’ll leverage comScore operational infrastructure. “There is some significant degree of overlap that will be realized over time.”

On Management: Abraham said that M:Metric’s co-founders Will Hodgman and Seamus McAteer will join the company’s management team. Separately, in a document filed with the SEC today, it outlined how the two would be compensated. ComScore said it agreed to grant both Hodgman and McAteer $1 million in restricted shares out of a pool of $5 million in shares that will be issued to M:Metrics employees. ComScore’s stock jumped $1.27, or 5.4 percent today, to close at $24.68 a share.