Oracle Buys Pricing Optimization Company

On Tuesday Oracle announced it will acquire privately held ProfitLogic, a developer of mathematically intensive analytic software to help retailers determine optimum product pricing. The move marks Oracle's second foray in the retail applications market. In March the company beat out SAP in a bidding tussle over retail apps leader Retek. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the month, were not disclosed.

Oracle claims about 1,900 customers use the combined Oracle/Retek/ProfitLogic stack. That number includes customers of Oracle's database and middleware software, however. When Oracle completed its Retek acquisition in March, the Redwood Shores, Calif., company had some 800 retail customers using its E-Business Suite. Retek brought about 200 customers to Oracle at the time of its acquisition. ProfitLogic, Cambridge, Mass., now adds 30 customers to that mix, including such marquee names as Home Depot, The Gap and J.C. Penney.

ProfitLogic's Pricing4Profit software analyzes customer demand and behavior to help retailers with complex inventory, pricing and merchandising decisions.

"This places Oracle as the leader in retail profit optimization," said Tom Madigan, vice president of Oracle Retail Solutions. "Oracle will now have the most complete and widely adopted stack of open proven software in the retail enterprise."

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Neither Retek nor ProfitLogic had much of a VAR network to bring to Oracle, said Duncan Angove, general manager of Oracle's Retek Global Business Unit. "That's something that we at Oracle will explore."