Barron's Online - Soft Sell: "FOR YEARS NOW, LARRY ELLISON has been warning that the good old days of the software business are gone forever. There's a tendency in Silicon Valley to ignore Ellison's skeptical view, and to conclude instead that the next big thing is just around the corner, that we're just one breakthrough away from some mega-billion-dollar opportunity that will bring a new round of riches. But the Oracle founder has loudly proclaimed that idea to be hooey, and instead asserted that we inevitably are headed for a period of intense consolidation, where the big will get bigger, and the small will get eaten or squashed. Of course, Ellison hasn't only been preaching the gospel of consolidation, he's been following his own advice, as illustrated by the company's mammoth 2004 acquisition of PeopleSoft and a host of other deals."
Also see companion tables of recent software M&A activity and "buyout bait".