IBM looks set to buy rival Sun Microsystems in a $7 billion deal that would make IBM king of the lucrative Unix server market, the New York Times reports. The $9.50-per-share agreement, already approved by IBM’s board, insiders say, could be announced today—though next week is more probable. Sun is a top seller of server computers and a big name in software, but it’s been in a decade-long slump.
“Sun has obviously been a lost child for many years, but they have some great assets,” said an analyst. Sun has wanted a suitor for months, and IBM has scrutinized the firm for weeks. But the deal could spark antitrust issues over hardware, because it would give IBM “close to total control” over a certain type of storage device, the Times notes.