I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner -- see the full article for details. What I believe will happen next: if IBM believes it has a green light for the acquisition, and puts a formal offer on the table, Oracle (perhaps in partnership with HP) will ultimately win a bidding war for Sun. Either way, it’s the end of Sun as we’ve known it.
International Business Machines Corp. is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems Inc., people familiar with the matter said, a combination that would bolster IBM's heft on the Internet, in software and in finance and telecommunications markets.
The two companies have a common interest in that both make computer systems for corporate customers that aren't reliant on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software, and their product lines are less dependant than rivals' on Intel Corp.'s microprocessor technologies. The two companies are also strong supporters of open-source Linux and Java software.
Why would Oracle want to encumber itself with hardware???
The IBM/Sun merger makes a lot of business sense.. they are complimentary on both hardware and software and what's more important, share the same Linux/Java/Geeks as influential customers..
Oracle would not be a good fit.. even with HP...
I think an Oracle/HP split would be optimal -- Oracle keeps the software and related patents; HP takes the hardware (and related patents), services, and installed base.
IBM generally buys trailing-edge companies these days -- e.g., the vendors that were essentially the last to leave the dance floor in BI and content management, with Cognos and FileNet. Yes, lots of financial value and a license annuity stream, but not game-changing moves. There's more residual value at Sun that can be released by vendors more aggressive than IBM, and the HP/Oracle combination would reduce entropy from Sun's dismantling.
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