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DoubleClick Inc. will merge with database marketing company Abacus Direct Corp. in the third quarter of 1999. DoubleClick collects information on audience behavior and uses the data to target ad placements. Abacus maintains a database of consumer purchasing from more than 1,000 merchandise catalogs. The folks at D.C.’s Electronic Privacy Information Center are enraged by the planned merger and sent threatening letters to both CEOs, saying that the merger would “severely undermine the privacy of Internet users,” and that they will appeal to the Federal Trade Commission or the Justice Department to block it under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

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