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Oracle To Pay $2 Billion For Acme Packet

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The US software giant buys into specialist network hardware

On Monday, Oracle entered a definitive agreement to buy US networking equipment manufacturer Acme Packet for around $2 billion.

Acme Packet has seen better days – according to Reuters, its fourth quarter results show a $6.5 million loss – but Oracle believes that the Net-Net technology developed by the struggling company can bring about the golden age of all-IP networks.

Investing in potential

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, Acme Packet produces and markets the Net-Net OS software platform and the related Session Border Controllers (SBCs), Multiservice Security Gateways (MSGs) and Session Routing Proxies (SRPs) – products that help transfer data, voice and video content across a variety of networks.

One of Acme Packet appliances
One of Acme Packet appliances

Acme Packet customers include 89 of the largest 100 service providers in the world, and 51 of the Fortune 100 companies. Despite being a leader in its field, Acme Packet shares lost 18 percent of their value in 2012, as the network operators cut investment on infrastructure. Oracle believes that it can return the company to profit.

“Users are increasingly connected and expect to communicate anytime and anywhere using their application, device, and network of choice. Oracle Communications along with Acme Packet can help service providers and enterprises meet these demanding requirements, by delivering an end-to-end portfolio of technologies that will support the deployment, innovation and monetization of all-IP networks,” said the company in a statement.

“The proposed acquisition of Acme Packet is another important piece in Oracle’s overall strategy to deliver integrated best-in-class products that address critical customer requirements in key industries,” commented Oracle president Mark Hurd.

“The addition of Acme Packet to Oracle’s leading communications portfolio will enable service providers and enterprises to deliver innovative solutions that will change the way we interact, conduct commerce, deliver healthcare, secure our homes, and much more,” he added.

Oracle’s last acquisition was the cloud-based marketing automation and revenue performance management company Eloqua. It was widely thought that the $871 million deal would help Oracle challenge Salesforce.com in the cloud-based sales and marketing sector.

The Acme Packet acquisition is expected to be finalised by the end of June, subject to stockholder and regulatory approvals.

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