January 12, 2010, 12:00 AM

E-commerce platform provider ATG buys live chat specialist InstantService

ATG is paying $17 million in cash for InstantService, whose e-retail clients include Nordstrom, Orvis and Ritz Interactive.

E-commerce platform provider Art Technology Group Inc. announced today it was acquiring InstantService, a live chat provider for the e-commerce sites of such retailers as Nordstrom, Orvis and Ritz Interactive. ATG will pay $17.0 million in cash for InstantService.

InstantService brings 300 clients to ATG, which provides e-commerce technology for 900 companies.

"InstantService has earned a stellar reputation for enabling its clients to proactively engage their online customers to increase sales, reduce costs, and improve customer service, making its solutions an excellent fit for ATG`s expanding line of optimization services," says Bob Burke, ATG`s president and CEO. "We are committed to continuing the excellent service InstantService`s customers have come to expect, and to delivering additional value to both InstantService`s and ATG`s customer bases as we integrate our solutions and operations."

This is ATG’s second acquisition in the live help arena. The company in 2006 acquired eStara, a provider of click-to-call and live chat services, for $48.3 million. The current ATG and InstantService offerings will be sold as a single product starting immediately and eventually merged, says Nina McIntyre, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

InstantService is listed as the live chat provider by 11 of the online retailers listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. They are: Carrot Ink (No. 488). (A PDF version of each company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name.)

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