updated 11/15/2004 7:54:54 AM ET 2004-11-15T12:54:54

Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, will buy MarketWatch Inc. for about $519 million in a deal that would end a monthlong bidding war for the online financial news and information provider.

If approved by shareholders, Dow Jones would gain a valuable foothold in the fast-growing Internet content and advertising sales businesses.

MarketWatch, founded in 1997, operates two Web sites, CBS.MarketWatch.com and BigCharts.com. The company also produces the syndicated CBS MarketWatch weekend program and airs financial reports on CBS and the MarketWatch Radio Network.

Last month, the company reported that its third-quarter net income more than doubled amid growth in online advertising revenue and its merger with another company, Pinnacor.

"Joining Dow Jones is a great next step for MarketWatch," CEO Larry Kramer said in a statement posted Sunday on CBSMarketWatch.com. "Being part of one of the most respected media conglomerates in the world gives us a terrific platform to grow our business and compete with the largest media companies."

Peter R. Kann, chairman and CEO of Dow Jones, added that he had "high anticipation of what we can achieve together to benefit our readers and our customers."

Dow Jones beat out a list of media bidders for control of MarketWatch with a bid of $18 a share.

Earlier this month, Viacom, which has a significant stake in San Francisco-based MarketWatch, announced plans to bid for the company. Others bidders included The New York Times Co. and Yahoo Inc., according to media reports.

Besides The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones' major assets include the Journal's subscription Web site, Barron's magazine and Barron's online, the Dow Jones Newswires and Ottaway Community Newspapers.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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