NY Times reports IBM is in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems. Nothing is official yet, but the newspaper heard the deal is valued at nearly $7 billion.
The merger, if completed, would be a major consolidation in the market for server computers used in corporate data centers — and one that could prompt an antitrust challenge.
For I.B.M., the move would be something of a departure from its successful strategy of paring its dependence on the hardware business, where profit margins have declined, and increasing its investment in higher-margin software and services businesses.
But the combination of I.B.M. and Sun, analysts say, would bring together two technology companies that have continued to invest heavily in research and development, when many of their corporate peers have cut back to shield profits. I.B.M.’s research and development budget is about $6 billion a year, while Sun’s is roughly $3 billion.