Feeds

Antitrust-shy IBM closed to fresh Sun talks

Good thing, gone

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.