Acme Packet's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments have been added to this story.



) --


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has opened its wallet again, announcing a $2.1 billion deal to acquire networking specialist

Acme Packet



Acme Packet, the


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rival, describes itself as a leader in session delivery network solutions, which let enterprises deliver secure voice and data services across IP networks.

Bedford, Mass.-based Acme Packet has racked up more than 1,900 service provider and enterprises customers around the world, including 89 of the world's top 100 communications companies.

The company's stock, however, experienced a major slump in 2012 amid

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about carrier spending, but has gained just over 8% this year. Acme Packet shares climbed 21.69% to $29.13 in premarket trading on Monday.

Shares of Oracle dipped 1.64% to $35.61 before market open.

Oracle is acquiring the company for $29.25 a share, or approximately $1.7 billion, net of Acme Packet's cash, according to a statement released early on Monday. Acme Packet's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments brings the deal's value to around $2.1 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

"The communications industry is undergoing a dramatic shift as users become more connected and dependent on mobile applications and devices" said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president of Oracle Communications, in the company's statement. "Service providers and enterprises need a comprehensive communications solution that will enable them to more effectively engage with their customers."

The Acme Packet deal continues Oracle's spending spree. In December, the database giant announced a $810 million deal to


cloud specialist



, the latest in a string of acquisitions.

In 2009, Oracle made a shock $7.5 billion move for struggling tech giant

Sun Microsystems

, highlighting the company's desire to bolster its hardware business.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

Follow @jamesjrogers

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