Google has acquired online retail sales tracker Channel Intelligence for $125 million in cash, the company said today.
Channel Intelligence, one of ICG Group's consolidated companies, tracks close to 15 percent of all U.S. transactions online and helps drive $2 billion in annual sales in referred online recommendations.
ICG is expected to get $60.5 million for its stake in the company. ICG buys and builds up Internet services and software, including critical process automation for enterprises.
The deal is expected to go through by the end of the first calendar quarter of 2013.
For Google, it's likely that Channel Intelligence will ultimately flow into Google Shopping, which remains a strong albeit small unit at the search giant. We can probably expect to see a greater range of features for the still relatively young breakaway search service, which not only benefits Google but also the retailers who seek exposure with the service.
With Google Shopping hot on the tails of online retail giant Amazon and eBay, the search giant likely wants to offer more services and features to its shopping service. As Google remains the middleman between online shoppers and retailers, the company can not only serve up ads but also start chipping away at the Amazon and eBay loyal and faithful.
Google recently pulled its Shopping service from China, weeks after it closed its music store in the country. Google and China still have a tetchy relationship after the search giant pulled out of the mainland region after it suffered a serious internal hack by the Chinese government, which strenuously denied the claims.