Big blue is donning red headgear. Even a few months ago the idea that IBM, a venerable corporate IT firm,
would buy Red Hat, the biggest vendor of open-source software, would have been considered highly unlikely,
not least because of IBM's aversion to big mergers.
But on October 28th IBM announced that it would take over the firm for $34bn,
which represented a 63% premium over Red Hat's closing share price at the end of the previous week.
Red Hat is no household name, but in the IT industry the firm is considered a big success.
Founded in 1993, it reached $2.9bn in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. It takes free open-source software, makes some improvements,
bundles it with other tools and services such as technical support, and charges a monthly subscription fee.
The first product was a version of Linux, an operating system.
It later acquired or developed more and more pieces of software that are needed to power computing clouds.
One of the latest additions to its collection was OpenShift, a program that allows computing tasks to be easily moved around between data centres.
IBM, for its part, has been struggling in recent years to transform itself from a firm which made most of its money from it services, software and mainframe computers
to one that is based on cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI).
After 22 quarters of declining revenue, IBM seemed to be over the worst when its turnover started to increase early this year.
But in the most recent quarter, revenue dipped again.
The deal will probably mean that Ginni Rometty, the firm's chief executive, stays on for a few years to see through the integration.
Analysts thought she was on her way out, not just because her strategy seemed to be failing,
but because at 61, she is older than the standard retirement age for IBM bosses of 60.
More importantly, IBM hopes that the acquisition will give it a chance to catch up in the market for cloud computing.
Big Blue failed to take the trend seriously in the late 2000s and decided not to invest in a network of huge data centres.
As a result it has fallen behind the big "public" clouds (as opposed to "private" ones, which only serve a particular company),
in particular Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Venerable dailies such as the Tokyo Times have shut down.
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Both companies were keen on a merger
The government brought itself to the brink of fiscal disaster