German business software maker SAP agreed yesterday to buy French Business Objects, SA for $6.78 billion, making an aggressive move into the business intelligence market, the Wall Street Journal reports . Business Objects is a market leader in the field, which analyzes a firm’s performance and that of its competition; it's used for corporate risk management and governance, especially by very large companies.
The deal marks a strategy shift for SAP, which had been committed to organic growth rather than acquisitions. Rival Oracle, which has taken the opposite tack, considered buying Business Objects, but instead picked up another business inelligence player, Hyperion Solutions Corp, for $3.3 billion. Unlike Oracle, SAP is not expected to attempt to dismantle Business Objects, which is partially protected by French labor laws.