REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (
has taken a break from
to throw open its corporate coffers, agreeing to acquire e-commerce specialist
Art Technology Group (ATG)
for $1 billion.
Oracle, which had $23.6 billion of cash and investments at the end of its
, has been on something of an acquisition tear in recent years,
and spending $8.5 billion on
. The ATG deal, however, marks Ellison's desire to challenge
in specialized business software.
IBM, which recently bought data warehousing specialist
for $1.7 billion, has acquired more than 23 business analytics companies in the last five years and is obsessed with selling
In a statement, Oracle said that ATG's e-commerce software is a good fit for its own customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail and supply chain offerings.
"Organizations across many industries are looking for a unified commerce and CRM platform to provide a seamless experience across all commerce channels," explained Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of development at Oracle.
CEO Mark Hurd, now Oracle president, recently said that there are big opportunities to sell additional software in industries such as finance, telecom and insurance, particularly around ERP, which aims to give companies an overview of their IT infrastructure.
The ATG deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close by early 2011.
Oracle's latest M&A also provides a distraction from the company's ongoing legal battle with SAP, which hit the courts this week. The database maker is
after accusing the firm of stealing its software.
Jury selection in the case at the U.S. District Court in Oakland took place on Monday, with opening arguments expected on Tuesday. Oracle is seeking more than $2.3 billion in damages from SAP, though the German firm says a settlement in the "tens of millions
of dollars, at most," would be fair.
Oracle shares rose 22 cents, or 0.76%, to $29.35 on Tuesday, mirroring the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 0.84%.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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