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IBM trims Sun's offer price

INTERNATIONAL Business Machines has lowered its offer price for Sun Microsystems to US$9.50 a share from US$9.55 a share, although they are still in talks and the deal is not final, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.

An IBM spokesman declined comment. The firms have not confirmed talks, but a source told Reuters last Thursday that the deal price had been talked down to US$9.55 a share and that a deal could be unveiled some time this week.

The deal is seen as a way for IBM to bolster its offering of computer servers, storage equipment and software as competition heats up with rivals like Hewlett-Packard.

The latest offer price represents a 91-percent premium to Sun's US$4.97 close on March 17, a day before talks between the two technology companies were first reported.

The deal would be IBM's largest acquisition to date, and analysts say it will likely face intense antitrust scrutiny in the United States and Europe because it will give IBM a substantial lead in high-end business computers.

Some analysts also say that Sun's software assets will help IBM compete more efficiently.



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