updated 08:25 pm EDT, Fri April 3, 2009
IBM Sun Deal Maybe Monday
IBM's rumored deal to take over Sun may close as soon as the start of next week, multiple sources indicate. Initially thought by sources of both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (one, two) to be worth as much as $7 billion, the Financial Times now says negotiations and the market have tentatively pushed that number down to $6 billion but that a deal could be made public as early as Monday. Discussions are characterized as hectic and have the price changing from moment to moment.
Since rumored last month, the buyout is believed to reflect mutual interests. Sun has struggled to maintain relevance in databases and servers in the face of free or low-cost Linux distributions, while IBM can use Sun as a competitive advantage against other close rivals in databases, such as Microsoft or Oracle.
A combined company would not only create a larger database firm but would create an even larger proponent of open-source software. While IBM often protects the code for some of its middleware, both it and Sun regularly back open-source apps and are champions of Linux in particular. It would further give IBM direct control over Java.
Neither of the involved companies has offered to comment.