The Microsoft-Yahoo deal: How does it compare?

See how the deal compares to memorable high-tech acquisitions by Microsoft's main competitors

Oracle buys PeopleSoft (2003-2005)

Why: Oracle wanted to build a one-stop shop. It coveted PeopleSoft's strong HR and CRM software. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison also seemed to have it in for his former lieutenant and PeopleSoft CEO, Craig Conway.

Price: Initial offer in 2003 of US$6.3 billion in cash rose to US$10.3 billion after two years of wrangling.

Hostile/friendly: Very hostile under Conway, as PeopleSoft tried to elude its unwanted suitor. Acceptance came after Conway was let go and founder Dave Duffield rejoined as CEO.

Key premerger stats:

Revenues: Oracle: US$9.5 billion (2003); PeopleSoft: US$2.3 billion (2004)

Head count: Oracle: about 41,000 employees; PeopleSoft: about 12,000

Postmerger:

Oracle laid off 9 per cent of the combined company's 55,000 employees, though it appeased customers by keeping key PeopleSoft developers and support staff. Oracle is also integrating the PeopleSoft apps with its own into a new product line called Fusion. Oracle is on target to hit US$20 billion in revenue this year, more than double what it had in 2003. Much of that is coming from acquisitions. Including PeopleSoft, Oracle has done more than 20 such deals in the past three years. Earnings continue to rise, and its market cap of US$105 billion is 70 per cent higher than it was five years ago.

Other major Oracle acquisitions:

2005: Siebel Systems, for US$5.9 billion

2007: Hyperion Solutions, for US$3.3 billion

2007: BEA Systems, for US$8.5 billion

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Eric Lai

Computerworld
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