The technology industry is filled with speculation today following a report by the Wall Street Journal saying that IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems for more than $6.5 billion in cash. This would translate into a premium of about 100 percent over Sun's closing price Tuesday of $4.97, similar to what it was in 1996, though following the buyout rumors their share price has soared to around $8.20.
Sunís value peaked with the dotcom boom in 2001 but has been sliding ever since. Both companies, which have a common cause in pushing open source software, refused to comment on the potential deal, but speculators claim that an official announcement could be made as early as this week. If it does come to fruition, this will be the largest acquisition in IBM history and should help the company distance itself from HP with 42 percent of the total server market. It would also mark something of a change for IBM, which in the past few years focused more and more on selling software and services rather than hardware.