A couple of days ago ValleyWag broke the story of FeedBurner buying Nooked which ultimately turned out to be false. The real culprit as announced on the BlogBeat site today, was indeed, BlogBeat. BlogBeat is or was FeedBurner's closest competitor, working much like FeedBurner in using the feed instead of the actual site to track circulation. They didn't disclose the financial terms although I would estimate it to be around the $3 million – $8 million range.
FeedBurner plans tointegrate Blogbeat into their own platform eliminating the current paid model (BlogBeat charges $24/per year) which they say will be completed during Q4 of 2006. Existing customers who've paid will be getting refunds, although they're not adding new users till the integration. The integration will give publishers a better insight between their feed subscribers and site visitors.
One startup eating another is something we're starting to see (last was Plaxo/HipCal in May), and I think the reason for this more than anything is that as these 'once-a-startup's move up the chain, the investors want more, and what better than to give them that for their own money. Personally, I think this is only doing the users good and as a FeedBurner user I more than look forward to this integration.