Sun is trying to restart talks with IBM, but is being met with a cold shoulder.
The on-again, off-again soap opera romance between Sun Microsystems and IBM is back on — but apparently one-sided, because IBM is reportedly not interested.
Negotiations for IBM (NYSE: IBM) to purchase Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) for $7 billion seemed all but settled last week until they collapsed at the 11th hour. Since then, both companies have gone on their separate ways and have avoided discussing the issue at all.
But reports now state that Sun would like to reopen negotiations with IBM, if Big Blue made more effort to complete the deal, according to a Bloomberg report.
With neither company talking about the deal, getting a straight answer as to why the deal fell apart has been even harder. One rumor claims Sun executives squashed the deal because they were not satisfied with the compensation package being offered by IBM.
Another said Sun balked because there had been no promises from IBM that it would stick with the deal if serious antitrust challenges arose.
Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz was reported to favor a deal and even shopped the company around, according to Intel Chief Paul Otellini, who made the comments internally to Intel employees, which promptly leaked to the press. But Bloomberg said Schwartz ultiamtely voted with the rest of Sun's board to reject the offer because the price was too low and there was little certainty that the merger would close.
Cable business channel CNBC also reported that IBM has decided it is not interested in any further negotiations, despite Sun's efforts to restart talks. One reason: IBM's contacts within the U.S. Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and the European Union have all advised the company that such a merger could be subject to an antitrust review lasting six to nine months, CNBC said.
And in IBM's position, it doesn't need that headache, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.
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