Los Angeles and San Francisco -- The boards of directors of LoopNet Inc. and PropertyFirst.com recently approved a merger of the two firms. The new company, which will operate under the LoopNet name, now claims to be commercial real estate's dominant online community and web-based property marketplace.

The new company boasts more than 200,000 users and more than 145,000 sale and lease listings. It will be better equipped to help clients use the Internet to accelerate transactions, reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and connect with each other, according to John Stanfill, president, CEO and co-founder of Los Angeles-based PropertyFirst.

"The time is right for consolidation," notes Dennis DeAndre, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based LoopNet. DeAndre calls the merger "a natural step" for both companies.

LoopNet and PropertyFirst will integrate operations, including their websites, data and customer bases. DeAndre and Stanfill will serve as co-chairmen of the new company.