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Experian Sells Simmons and Hitwise in $52 Million Deal

Symphony Technology Group (STG) bought Simmons, the 63-year-old consumer research pioneer, and Symphony-owned Connexity acquired Hitwise from Experian in a deal announced this morning. Experian will receive $47 million in cash plus potential for $5 million more in bonuses based on future earnings.

Connexity, which owns and operates the Shopzilla e-commerce network, wanted Hitwise in order to expand its abilities to track online behavior of its customers and potential customers. Hitwise recently launched AudienceView, a segmentation and behavioral analytics platform.

“Hitwise’s shift from website analytics to audience-based analytics aligns perfectly with our audience activation approach at Connexity, which is focused on delivering highly targeted audiences created from our expansive shopping network,” said Bill Glass, CEO of Connexity, in a press release.

Simmons’s vaunted consumer panel has provided insights on thousands of brands in more than 500 product categories. It will operate independently under the name Simmons Research and join a roster of STG companies including IRi, Symphony Advanced Media, and Symphony EYC.

“We found immediate alignment on our vision and synergies with STG. They have a tremendous track record of innovation in the market research and marketing science industry,” said Simmons GM Pat Pellegrini. “STG’s investment will allow us to further our continued leadership in consumer research.”

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