Google just acquired marketing firm Channel Intelligence for $125 million in cash, according to a press release issued by the company’s parent company ICG Group (via BusinessInsider). The press release said the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of this year after passing the usual regulatory process.

As for what Google wants from the acquisition, Channel Intelligence said on its website that it “tracks online retail sales for a variety of verticals including computing, home improvement, appliances, consumer electronics, toys and other consumer packaged goods.” It also said that it makes “it easy for consumers to find and buy products online.” We can only speculate what Google will do with the technology, but we imagine it would play a role in the company’s ads and shopping businesses.

In an announcement on the Channel Intelligence website, the company noted it has “worked with Google for years” as a featured Google Shopping launch partner with a technology that helps to “maximize sales and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) with Product Listing Ads (PLAs)”:

A featured Google Shopping launch partner, CI has developed a technology to help merchants maximize sales and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) with Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which has become an increasingly important channel for merchants… CI excels at product feed optimization and product data is paramount for Google Shopping. The CI Managed Services team also employs unique Product Bidding methods to further enhance Google Shopping (PLA) performance; helping retailers generate qualified consumer visits and profitable product sales.

We are pleased to announce that Channel Intelligence (CI) has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!

For over ten years, we have focused on making it easy for consumers to find and buy products online and help our clients grow their business. We’ve worked with Google for years, and look forward to the great things we will be able to do together.

All CI services will continue to offer the excellent client service and great performance that our clients have come to expect over the years.

The CI Team