Feeds

Antitrust-shy IBM closed to fresh Sun talks

Good thing, gone

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

So much for playing hardball: IBM is apparently not interested in resuming talks to purchase Sun Microsystems, following their recent break down.

IBM is believed to be concerned about the level of scrutiny a potential acquisition of its smaller hardware and software rival might would draw from regulators.

CNBC has reported that IBM's contacts within the US Department of Justice and the European Union said an acquisition would spark an antitrust review lasting six to nine months.

It was earlier reported Sun was willing to consider a fresh offer from IBM, at a reduced price. That would be the second cut, after IBM reduced its initial bid from between $10 and $11 to $9.40 a share.

The first round of talks collapsed in April partly because Sun baulked at giving IBM too much control over its projects without getting guarantees the deal would be completed in the face of the inevitable regulatory scrutiny. Also, IBM was unwilling to agree to executive payouts.

IBM knows a thing or two about the cost and delays an antitrust regulation can bring to operations, and what it can do to a company's reputation and performance.

The company spent 13 years locked in a pointless investigation and long-running court battle with the DoJ, which had grown concerned in the 1960s about the company's domination of the market for general-purpose computers.

The DoJ's idea was to break IBM in to smaller companies that would compete with each other. The case was eventually thrown out in 1981, as the computing landscape changed.

The case, though, is believed to have altered IBM's behavior, with the company reluctant to price too competitively during the 1980s and 1990s in case it would again be accused of exploiting its position.

Even today, IBM is facing a regulatory probe over its mainframe business, this time at the hands of the EU's Competition Commission following a complaint by t3 Technologies. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.