* Gigya ranked market leader in identity access used by marketers
* Deal positions SAP for 2018 European privacy regulations (Adds details on company, market and competitive context)
FRANKFURT/JERUSALEM, Sept 24 (Reuters) - SAP, Europe's biggest technology company, has agreed to buy U.S.-Israeli customer identity software company Gigya to strengthen its position in the booming market for online customer relationship marketing, the company said on Sunday.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will tie together Gigya’s user identity access and management platform with SAP's Hybris customer profile data-matching software so businesses can market services to online customers.
Several Israeli media put a purchase price on the deal of $350 million for Gigya, which was founded in Israel in 2006 before relocating its headquarters to Silicon Valley. Both companies declined to comment on price of the deal.
Gigya software enables companies to manage customer marketing profiles and preferences, while giving consumers themselves the power to opt-in and give their consent, helping users to keep control of their data at all times, SAP said.
The acquisition beefs up SAP's ability to help companies doing business in Europe to comply with privacy regulations such as the EU's upcoming General Data Protection Regulation. Gigya currently manages 1.3 billion customer identity profiles.
"Major independent analyst firms, most recently Forrester Research, have positioned Gigya as a top vendor in this field," SAP said in a statement announcing the deal.
Forrester ranks Gigya as leader in the niche field of user identity management against rivals such as Salesforce, Ping Identity, Auth0 and Microsoft, singling Gigya out for its more intuitive user interface and security.
It counts 700 big businesses as users, including half of the top 100 U.S. web properties, and European brands such as retailer ASOS, pharmaceutical maker Bayer, cosmetics firm L'Oreal and airline KLM, according to Gigya.
Gigya will be incorporated into SAP's Hybris marketing business, which offers so-called "ommichannel" integration that allows businesses to keep tabs on customers whether they shop in stores, online or on their phones, SAP said.
Since 2013, Gigya has been a partner of Hybris, which SAP acquired the same year.
The transaction is expected to close in the final quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approval, SAP said.
Reporting by Eric Auchard, Vera Eckert and Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen and Jane Merriman