Google has acquired retail feed management provider Channel Intelligence (not to be confused with Channel Advisor) for $125 million. The company counts major brands and retailers among its clients.
Channel Intelligence (CI) offers a range of services built around data management and product feed optimization. It lists Target, Philips, HP, Neiman Marcus and Best Buy among its customers and says it works with 850 retailers on a global basis.
The conventional line on this acquisition is that it will better help Google Shopping compete with Amazon and eBay.
CI was a launch partner of Google’s product listing ads. The company says on its website that “All CI services will continue to offer the excellent client service and great performance that our clients have come to expect over the years.”
On a smaller scale this acquisition is somewhat analogous to Google’s purchase of travel software company ITA a couple of years ago. CI works with other product distribution channels and shopping engines. That’s probably unlikely to continue over the long term.
Postscript: We received the following statement from Google:
We want to help consumers save time and money by improving the online shopping experience. We think Channel Intelligence will help create a better shopping experience for users and help merchants increase sales across the web.