Nuance Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN) has acquired digital customer data provider TouchCommerce for $215 million in cash and stock. The purchase will expand Nuance’s offerings in customer data and online live chat.

TouchCommerce, based in Agoura Hills, California, provides software that is used for online live chats and also provides data on customer traffic patterns. The target has previously worked with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and DirecTV. Nuance, located in Burlington, Massachusetts, distributes speech recognition software.

“Our respective capabilities are so complementary and our strategies so similar that it became obvious to both parties that joining forces was the logical next step beyond our existing technology partnership,” says TouchCommerce CEO Bernard Louvat.

Retail data providers have become attractive targets as companies try to keep up with changing shopping patterns from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. HGGC has acquired Instantly Inc.; Tyco International plc (NYSE: TYC) purchased ShopperTrak; and WPP plc agreed to buy Conexance

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