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Kantar, a unit of advertising giant WPP, has purchased Bellevue-based Global Market Insite for an undisclosed price and merged it with online market research firm Lightspeed Research. Together, the companies said that they will “create one of the world’s largest online panel and sample providers.” As a result of the deal, David Day of Lightspeed Research has been named President and Global CEO of the combined business.

Backed by Voyager Capital and others, GMI was founded in 1999 by Rob Monster. The company employs 230 people, with its main offices in Bellevue. Revenues last year stood at $64 million.

“Uniting the assets of these two global leaders in the online panel market research industry strengthens our offer to clients through the size and reach of our panels. Our combined technology and market research expertise will put us in a strong position to address the significant growth and rapid change in our industry around the world,” said Day in a statement.

GMI was most recently led by Seattle tech veteran Michael Brochu who tells The Seattle Times that he plans to transition out of the company as a result of the acquisition. Brochu previously led Loudeye and Primus Knowledge Solutions.

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