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Google Agrees to Acquire Channel Intelligence for $125 Million

Google Inc., operator of the world’s largest search engine, has agreed to buy Channel Intelligence Inc. for $125 million, adding online marketing tools that retailers use to bolster Internet sales.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, according to a statement from Radnor, Pennsylvania-based ICG Group Inc., which jointly owns Channel Intelligence with Aweida Capital Management. Channel Intelligence helps retailers refine online sales pitches and promote goods on Facebook Inc.’s social network.

Google is stepping up efforts in e-commerce after announcing plans last year to transition its product-search feature to a paid commercial model in the U.S., requiring retailers to purchase space on the new Google Shopping service. In November, Google acquired BufferBox Inc., a service for delivering e-commerce goods to physical kiosks.

“Our vision for CI started with the desire to simplify the online shopping experience,” Rob Wight, founder and chief executive of Channel Intelligence, said in the statement.

ICG’s shares advanced 4.3 percent to $12.56 at 10:22 a.m. in New York, and earlier touched $12.81 for the biggest intraday gain since November 2011. Google rose less than 1 percent to $769.25.

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