Dell's buyout of EMC in 2015
IBM buyout of Red Hat in 2018
Elon Musk's Twitter takeover in 2022
Broadcom merger with Avago in 2015
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Correct Answer: Dell's buyout of EMC in 2015

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It may not be the most recognizable deal from this list, but Dell's acquisition of enterprise storage company EMC for $67 billion in cash and stock stands as the tech industry's largest buyout. It took place in 2015.

Still in the making and facing antitrust hurdles, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be the company's largest acquisition to date and potentially the number one tech buyout valued at $68.7 billion. If it ever completes, the deal could change the video game landscape.

After some public back and forth, Elon Musk ultimately did buy Twitter (taking the company private) for the originally agreed-upon amount of $44 billion, taking spot number two in this list.

Nvidia's failed acquisition of Arm would have taken third place in this list. The $40 billion transaction would have marked one of the biggest semiconductor purchases in the multi-decade history of the chip business. The amazing irony was that the deal didn't involve any chips at all. Years prior, Softbank had purchased Arm for nearly $32 billion. After the failed saga of Nvidia trying to buy Arm, the company's position remains strong but its future as an independent company remains to be seen.

Third place instead goes to renowned chipmaker Broadcom, which was scooped up by rival Avago Technologies in a cash and stock deal valued at $37 billion. In 2020, AMD reached an agreement to purchase FPGA specialist Xilinx in an all-stock deal valued at $35 billion. That's the fourth entry in our top 5 list.

To round up the top 5 deals in tech history, IBM acquired open-source software developer Red Hat for $34 billion. The deal took place in 2018, after IBM and Red Hat had been partners on enterprise-grade Linux for over 20 years.

Other high-profile acquisitions that have fell off the rankings in recent years include Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. Also, HP's takeover of Compaq in 2002 which was virtually tied with Facebook's buyout of WhatsApp with both being ~$19 billion exchanges. And for completion's sake, Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola and sold it to Lenovo two years later for $2.9 billion - minus all those mobile patents they actually wanted for its Android ambitions.

You may be wondering why AOL's buyout of Time Warner isn't among the answers, considering it was a larger deal than any of the above. AOL paid $106 billion for Time Warner in 2000 - it was originally $165 billion, but later reduced - however that acquisition is typically excluded from a tech list because AOL and Time Warner are considered media companies.