Database software giant Oracle has reached a definitive merger agreement to purchase Solaris OS and Java originator Sun Microsystems for about $7.4 billion. The move follows reports of a breakdown in merger discussions between Sun and IBM that would have set the price of Sun at $6.5 billion.
If completed, the transaction would vault Oracle into the computer market, one that it has patently avoided during its history. It also would enhance the company’s position in Java software, a field in which it gained additional prominence with its 2008 purchase of Java application server maker BEA Systems.
The deal would also place the commercial version of the open-source MySQL database under Oracle’s control. Sun bought MySQL originator MySQL AB in Janurary 2008.
The deal was approved by Sun’s board of directors. In a statement, Sun said it expected the deal to close this summer, subject to Sun stockholder approval, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.