Optimal Blue and LoanSifter — described by National Mortgage News as the two largest stand-alone developers of mortgage product availability and pricing engines — will be  combined into a single company with Optimal Blue’s acquisition of its Appleton, Wis.-based rival.

The LoanSifter brand will be dropped, and Optimal Blue will have more than 1,500 customers, 200 employees and three offices nationwide with headquarters in Plano, Texas, the companies said.

Executives with the companies told National Mortgage News that the acquisition will allow the companies to concentrate research and development efforts and expand the quantity and type of mortgage lenders using their technology.

Mortgage product and pricing engines help drive quotes offered to consumers at real estate search portals like Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com. Last year Zillow purchased Lincoln, Neb.-based pricing engine provider Mortech for $12 million in cash and 150,000 shares of stock. Source: businesswire.com

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