Back in the good old days, there was a degree of certainty about the tech sector. Companies like Cisco (CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) could partner knowing that one essentially touted networking gear and the other sold servers and software. The Google (GOOG) CEO could even sit on the board of Apple (HPQ) with barely a raised eyebrow . Not any more, though.
The recession has been the catalyst for a major tech shake-up, turning long-standing buddies into enemies and prompting acquisitions that would have been greeted with incredulity just a couple of years ago. Whether Cisco's entry into the server market, or Oracle's (ORCL) surprise acquisition of Sun Microsystems (JAVA), the tech market is undergoing a rapid transformation. The big question is -- who will be the winners and losers?
"There have been a few big tectonic shifts that have happened," Ron Gruia, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan told TheStreet.com. "When Cisco announced their UCS (Unified Computing System), that was the first one of the big moves that have happened."
With IT budgets tightening and companies becoming ever more global, tech executives are looking to reduce the number of suppliers they deal with. As a result, tech companies are on an M&A and partnership tear. "There's going to be more of that because there's still the drive for single-source IT buying in CIO offices," said Martin Tobias, a partner at Bellevue, Wash.-based venture capital firm Ignition Partners. "The more things they can buy from one company, the happier they are." Among the recent notable tech-deal news:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV