Marchex to Acquire Pay-per-Call Provider

Marchex announced plans to acquire pay-per-call provider VoiceStar, which it hopes to use to bring call-based ad services to its direct-navigation network.

In June, Marchex launched more than 100,000 local and vertical Web sites, each with unique content that includes yellow pages listings, user-generated and expert ratings and reviews, and of course plenty of ads from Marchex's ad network.

"We have distribution. That's half of it," Marchex Chief Strategy Officer Peter Christothoulou told ClickZ. The platform is ready to integrate pay-per-call with its dashboard and offer local marketers the option to pay for online leads resulting in a phone call, which many small businesses find more valuable, he said.

The deal is reportedly worth $20 million, plus $8 million in additional investments through 2008.