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ATG to acquire eStara

The e-commerce technology vendor is adding eStara's "click-to-call" and "click-to-chat" to round out its online offerings.

Art Technology Group Inc. (ATG) said today it will acquire eStara Inc. and its "click-to-call back" and "click-to-chat" technology.

Cambridge, Mass.-based ATG will acquire eStara, of Reston, Va. in a stock and cash deal that will be worth up to $48 million. The agreement is subject to the customary regulatory conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

"eStara solutions fit perfectly with our strategy as they provide an increasingly vital new channel for helping consumers go from browsing to buying," Bob Burke, ATG's president and CEO said in a statement.

The eStara on-demand business model fits in with ATG's own efforts in that area, he added.

For more on online service
See how one travel company is using "click-to-call back"

Learn what Sprint has done with chat technology

There are roughly 350 customers using eStara's technology to increase online sales conversion, including companies like Starwood Hotels, DaimlerChrysler and Apple Computer. The technology allows customers on a Web site to connect direct to a customer service or sales agent at a company, either via Internet chat messaging or by entering phone numbers and having it entered into the outbound calling queue. The tools also offer the ability to push Web pages to online customers.

Under the terms of the agreement, ATG is paying for the acquisition with 15.3 million shares of its own stock, $2 million in cash and up to an additional $6 million in earn out potential.

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